The following article appeared in the TRANSACTIONS OF THE HIGHLAND AND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND, published in 1875.  Although it is not directly related to the Parish of Buittle, it is a very valuable description of the state of agriculture in Galloway in the second half of the 19th Century, as well as accounting many historical explanations and observations. As the Parish is generally of an agricultural nature, it must describe the farming and rural history of our area.


By THOMAS MACLELLAND, North Balfern, Kirkinner, Wigtownshire.

1. General and Statistical Account.

Kirkcudbright and Wigtown occupy the most southern part of Scotland, and, conjointly, have long been known under the provincial name of Galloway. They are bounded on the south by the Solway Frith and the Irish Sea; on the west by the North Channel, which separates Scotland from Ireland; and on the north by Ayrshire; they are divided from Dumfriesshire, on the east, by high mountainous ranges, and by the river Nith, which falls into the Solway.

They are separated by the river Cree and Wigtown Bay. Wigtownshire anciently was called West Galloway, and the Stewartry, East Galloway. The peninsula formed by Loch Ryan and Luce Bay, in the western district of Wigtownshire, is called the Rhinns, and the south-east district is called the Machars. The most important rivers are the Dee, the Cree, the Fleet, and the Urr in Kirkcudbright, and the Bladnoch and water of Luce in Wigtown. On these rivers are situated important and convenient ports for shipping produce, or importing manures and feeding stuffs, so that the greater part of the province is well placed as regards water carriage.

There are twenty-eight parishes in Kirkcudbright, the valuation of which was in 1872—73, £322,752, exclusive of railways or royal burghs. In 1846 the valuation was £193,751. In Wigtownshire there are sixteen parishes, the valuation of which was in 1872—73, £206,338; thirty years ago it was £131,277.

There are 610,313 statute acres in Kirkcudbright, and 327,906 in Wigtown, making a total of 938,219 in the two counties. A great part of these is entirely pastoral or mountain land. There are in Kirkcudbright 439,468 acres of heath or mountain land, and in Wigtown 186,572 acres, making in both counties 626,040 acres, or nearly two-thirds of the whole taken together.

There are in Kirkcudbright 417 distinct landed properties, several of which are held by the same owner. One proprietor has a rental of over £18,000; three proprietors have a rental of from £12,000 to £15,000; three from £5000 to £7000; thirty three from £1500 to £5000; seventy-two from £500 to £1500; fifty-five from £300 to £500; one hundred and seventeen from £100 to £300; and seventy under £100. In Wigtown there are seventy-two landed proprietors, one of whom has over £39,000 of rental; one has £24,400; one £15,000; one £11,300; eight from £5000 to £9000; nine from £1000 to £3000; and seven from £500 to £800.

Kirkcudbright is in form that of a well-defined parallelogram, and lies compactly together, without any very marked irregularity in its boundary lines; its greatest length is from north-east to south-west. Wigtown is deeply indented by Loch Ryan on the north, and Luce Bay on the south, which, meeting within a few miles of each other in the western portion of the county, give that part of the shire a very irregular appearance; while Wigtown Bay, reaching far up on the other side, forms a deep indentation on its eastern edge.

The north-west portion of the Stewartry is very wild and mountainous, and some of the hills rise to a considerable elevation; the highest being Merrick, which is 2764 feet above sea-level, and is the most elevated ground in the south of Scotland. In this part of the county there are numerous lochs, several being found in every parish; and many spots of wild and romantic beauty occur, which might compete with Highland scenery were they more accessible by rail, and better known to the tourist. The south-west, or arable portion of the county, is comparatively flat, and contains no very high land, but consists chiefly of gentle undulations, which afford a declivity for draining the superfluous moisture from the soil.

The general appearance of Wigtownshire, when viewed from a distance, is flat and uninteresting. There are, however, many spots remarkable for their quiet beauty, which can only be seen to advantage by an actual visit; the sea view entering largely into the composition of the landscape. The lower or arable part of the county is characterised chiefly by a succession of low rounded hills, none of them rising to a greater height than 300 feet above the sea-level. These, with the valleys between, being all under cultivation, which is every year reaching greater perfection, are seen to better advantage on close inspection; and although there is little in the landscape to attract attention from a distance, the close observer will meet with objects of instruction and interest in an agricultural point of view in this county which occupies a comparatively isolated position on the map of Scotland. The mountain or pasture division of the county does not possess any very remarkable features. Occupying the northern part, it gradually increases in elevation from where the arable land terminates until it reaches the boundary of Ayrshire. The highest land in the county is at its northern extremity, where various ranges are found from 800 to 1000 feet above the sea. Large tracts of flat moorland occur between the elevations, and in every parish there are extensive mosses, which furnish the scanty population of the upland district with a plentiful supply of fuel.

2. Soils.

The arable soils may be classed under four different heads — first, those resting on a rocky subsoil; second, those resting on a till subsoil; third, the alluvial soils; and fourth, the gravelly soils.

The first mentioned of these, the rock soils, are not so widely extended as the till soils, but are generally more fertile. Where these occur the surface is broken up by the tops of the rocks into large knolls, which in many parts of Galloway are the predominant feature in the landscape. So much is this the case, that on some fields not more than one-half of the surface can be cultivated; but the soil between these knolls, as if to make up for the deficiency, is exceedingly fertile, and produces large crops of wheat, barley, and oats in the best districts. Notable examples of the rock soils are to be met with in the Machars, or lower district of Wigtownshire, in the parishes of Sorby, Glasserton, and Whithorn, where they are much interspersed with the till soils, and, in the southern part of the Stewartry, in the parishes of Anworth, Borgue, Rerrick, and Kirkcudbright. These soils are in general naturally dry, but occasionally may be found wet; and when this is the case great difficulty is experienced in draining them, owing to the rock being so near the surface. The rock soils are generally difficult to cultivate, from the number of small peaks protruding, or boulders lying immediately beneath the surface. The operations of modern implements are greatly impeded by these obstacles; and, before any satisfactory progress can be made with them, these stones have all to be removed. This process on some farms is no easy task; but, from the heaps of quarried rocks we see accumulating in vacant corners, it is pleasing to draw the inference that the soil is gradually getting rid of these obstructions.

The till hills are likewise a characteristic feature in the Galloway landscape, and form about two-thirds of the whole arable land. They rise with a gentle slope in some places, though in others the ascent is steep to the height of from 100 to 200 feet, and always terminate in a rounded or oval top. These soils, from the hard and retentive nature of the subsoil, are naturally wet and springy, and require close and careful draining. When dry they produce fair crops of oats and sometimes wheat, but are not suited for barley. It is worthy of remark, that the south side of the till hills is always the best soil. The till lands contain a great many glacial boulders of granite and blue stone, and not infrequently some large specimens of a beautiful conglomerate are found. The latter are extremely hard, and defy the hardest steel to bore them, so that it is sometimes difficult to get them taken out of the soil. These boulders have evidently been transported from a great distance, as no rocks of a similar character are to be met with in Wigtownshire; and though Kirkcudbright has many granite quarries, none of the conglomerate has been discovered there. In the Rhinns, or upper district of Wigtownshire, there is a good deal of black top or moor top resting on a till bottom. This land at no very distant period was covered with heather and a small kind of furze, but is now in a fair way of being all improved. Though capable of much improvement, this black-topped land will not produce crops of equal quality with the thinner rocky soils.

The alluvial or clay soils form a small proportion of the whole arable land in the two counties. They are found on the west side of Wigtown Bay, and on both sides of the river Cree as far as Newton-Stewart; small patches also occur on the banks of the rivers Fleet, Dee, and Urr. An important tract of the same kind of soil lies on the sea-shore in the parishes of Colvend, Kirkbean, and Newabbey, reaching with a narrow stripe as far as Dumfries. These soils are composed for the most part of a strong deep clay, generally more fertile and friable nearest the sea-shore, and increasing in tenacity on approaching the hard land. They are capable of bearing wheat, barley, oats, and beans; but owing to the heavy rainfall, green crop can not be grown upon them with profit, except in some dry seasons, in which these soils are always most productive.

The gravel soils occupy a small proportion of the arable land. They are generally not far from the sea-coast, where they formed the ancient high-water mark. They are easy of cultivation, but from their open porous nature, manure is not retained for any length of time. 

3. Climate

In describing the climate of two such counties as Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, where the difference of altitude of the land is so great, it will be necessary for the sake of perspicuity to divide them into two districts, and treat of the climate of each separately; as, indeed, they are possessed of almost distinctly different climates. These may be denominated the low-lying or sea-bound district of both counties, and the inland and mountain district. The climate of the former, or low-lying district, is very much influenced by its being in a great measure surrounded by the sea. Wigtown, though a small county of only 512 square miles, has 140 miles of sea-board, or more than one mile of sea shore for every four square miles of land. The tides which visit these shores twice a day, come through the North Channel, and are in immediate connection with the north-west branch of the Gulf-stream. The effect of this upon the climate of the western part of Wigtownshire particularly, is very marked. Along the coast, by Burrow Head and Mull of Galloway, which are the most southern points of Scotland, it is calculated that the tide in spring flows at the rate of six miles an hour; and such is the influence of these currents, that, while the soil four or five miles inland is bound with frost, the plough is rarely stopped in the vicinity of the sea-coast. The same remarks apply to the land stretching from the Mull of Galloway to Corsewell Point, where severe frosts are almost unknown. Farmers in these districts do not require to have a great store of turnips in winter as they are seldom prevented by frost from lifting them, even when it is severe in the inland districts. Snow, when it falls, which is not often, seldom remains more than two or three days, and in some severe winters, when the high lands in the Stewartry and part of Wigtownshire, as well as most of Scotland, are covered, all the low-lying lands in the latter county are entirely clear of it.

Though the climate of the lands along the sea-coast is so mild, it is at the same time very moist. A table of the rainfall is sub-joined, from which it will be seen that, on the average of the past eight years, the rainfall is greater, and the number of wet days very considerably more, than in the east of Scotland. The prevailing winds are from the south and south-west, which show their effect along the whole line of the western coast, the tops of the trees and bushes growing near the sea being cut away, as with the pruning-knife, by the salt spray. The south and south-west winds are exceedingly mild in winter, and frequently in moist weather the fields assume the green hues of summer. When these winds prevail about the beginning of November, the anomaly is presented of the night temperature, at that time, being similar to that of the 1st of June. During the course of many years’ observation the writer has noticed this to be of frequent occurrence. Heavy dews are another characteristic of the climate, which, though of immense advantage to young plants in dry weather, prove very troublesome in harvest, at which time, particularly when the weather is dry and calm, the moisture is so heavy as to weigh down the heads of the grain.

These heavy dews frequently cause harvest operations to be suspended for some hours in the morning—a singular contrast to the climate of East Lothian, where dew is of rare occurrence at that season.

The inland and mountain division, which includes the high and northern part of Wigtown and the greater part of Kirkcudbright, with the exception of the land along the sea-board, has a climate a good deal more rigorous than that of the lower district. Snow generally begins to appear on the high lands in Minnigaff in November, which, however, does not often remain over winter. The same hills get a fresh covering now and then during winter, and occasionally they are "stormed" for six weeks or two months. Frost, when it does occur, is very severe among the hills, one or two nights of it being sufficient to freeze the lochs for curling.

Lower down in the arable districts, free from sea influences in the inland parishes, frost occasionally occurs with severity, and turnips require to be early secured in pits, or otherwise covered with earth, to withstand it. The two counties are comparatively sheltered by the high lands in the midland counties of Scotland, from the easterly and north-easterly gales, the force of which is partially expended before reaching them.

A great drawback to the success of agriculture is the broken weather which prevails during the harvest months; indeed, it not infrequently happens that August and September are the wettest months in the year. The following table shows the rainfall in these two months for the last eight years, with the number of days on which rain fell, which, compared with the table of the rainfall during the same months in East Lothian, will show the disadvantage at which the south-western counties are placed in that respect.



4. Reclamation.

As already noticed, a considerable portion of the soil of the two counties consists of the rounded till hills, or the sloping fields of the rock soils. Many of the hollows between these eminencies were, five and twenty years ago, mere marshes lying in a state of nature, undrained, and quite unproductive. They were composed chiefly of mossy loam, resting on a bed of clay and shingle, while upon the surface grew the bog myrtle, provincially termed gall, the marsh mallow plant, wild geranium, shaking grass, and other plants indicative of wet uncultivated land. Hundreds of acres of these marshes were drained and reclaimed by the private enterprise of the tenants, who, by doing so, converted many a swamp into good arable land. Extensive tracts of these unproductive hollows were also drained by Government drainage-money, a large share of which was expended in the two counties. The soil of these hollows, after being reclaimed and cultivated, proved very productive, and required little manure to produce heavy crops of oats—their mossy tendency rendering them unsuitable for the growth of the wheat plant.

We shall now, under this branch of the subject, proceed to give an account of the more extensive reclamations which have been effected.

At the head of Wigtown Bay, and to the north of the river Bladnoch, where it falls into the sea, there is a large tract of sleetchy sands, marked on the Ordnance maps "Wigtown Sands." The proprietor of the adjoining land, the late Randolph, Earl of Galloway, obtained an Act of Parliament in 1839 for the reclamation of a large portion of these sands, shortly after which date operations for this purpose were commenced. A substantial stone embankment was first built along the north side of the channel of the river Bladnoch, extending seaward to a distance of about 1500 yards. This was to act as a barrier in that direction against the sea, which, with a south or a south-east wind, rolled over the sand to be reclaimed with a considerable surf preventing the deposition of the silt, which, it was intended, should be retained for the elevation of the enclosed sand. A line of thorns) securely tied up in small bundles, was next run from the sea end of the embankment towards the nearest point of the land, distant about 1600 yards. At first occasional breaks or openings were left in this line, which were covered by an inner row of thorns placed at a distance of 20 yards from the openings; but it was found that the ebb tide formed gullies or "runners" in the sand through these openings, thus carrying off the deposit of silt, and otherwise injuring the outside row. This plan was abandoned for the continuous row, which was found to answer the end much better, though these gullies are still apt to appear where the bank of thorns becomes injured by the surf. At present the sand in the inner side of the thorns is from 3 to 3 1/2 feet higher than the level of the unenclosed sand, so that considerable progress has been made with the reclamation. About 500 acres have been thus enclosed, the most of which is now green, and is covered with the sea pink (Cerastium repens) and other marine plants. Spring tides still flow over all the enclosed sand, adding every year their deposit of silt, which, with a south-east gale and a high tide, has been known to accumulate to a depth of 6 inches in a single tide in sheltered places. Substantial embankments also enclose a considerable tract of alluvial land on the right bank of the Cree, over which the tide formerly flowed, but which is now under regular cultivation. The sum expended since the commencement of these operations does not fall far short of £40,000.

Auchrocher Moss is situated in the parish of Inch, Wigtownshire; it contains about 90 acres, and is the property of the Earl of Stair. Before being drained it was a worthless swamp, filling the surrounding air with unhealthy fogs, now it is a cultivated field let to an enterprising tenant at a rent of 30s. an acre. The project of draining this swamp was first started in 1847, and under the able and energetic direction of the late G. Guthrie, Esq., Rephad, factor on the estate, the operation was pushed forward as rapidly as circumstances would admit. Though more than two miles from the sea, the levelling instruments showed that the moss was very little above high-water mark. As in that case no fall could be lost, it was decided that a culvert should be driven up from the sea almost on a dead level. This culvert, which was built entirely of bricks, was of an oval form, 4 feet high and about 2 feet wide. As the work progressed, the builders came upon a subsoil of running sand, which rendered the construction of the culvert a very difficult operation. Many parts of it had to be built on boards upon which men had to throw their weight, to prevent the fine sand from boiling up until the masons got their bricks laid on this foundation. After encountering many difficulties, and at an expense of £1000, the moss was reached. And here it was found that in some places it was of great depth and very soft, and required to be bridged over with beech boards, upon which the draining tiles were placed. This moss has been carrying crops of oats and potatoes alternately ever since, but has this year (1873) been put under the same rotation as the rest of the farm, owing to the dearness of labour.

The next piece of reclamation on a large scale to be noticed the drainage of the Loch of Dowalton. This was a sheet of water occupying the lower end of a valley of extensive mosses, and lying between the parishes of Sorby, Kirkinner, and Glasserton. It was about a mile and a quarter in extreme length, and nearly three-quarters of a mile in extreme breadth. The proprietors of the adjoining lands, whose estates were to be benefited by the draining of the loch, were Sir W. Maxwell of Monreith, Lord Stair, and R. Vans Agnew, Esq., M.P., of Barnbarroch. It was at first contemplated in 1849, by Sir W. Maxwell, to lower the waters of the loch 3 or 4 feet, but on comparing the different surveys, and after mature deliberation and consultation with J. M’Lean, Esq., the factor on the estate, it was decided to drain the loch altogether. To effect this, it was found by careful measurements that it would require a cut of 24 feet in depth, and this would be for a considerable distance through rock. The draining of the loch was commenced in 1862, and was effected wholly at the expense of Sir W. Maxwell. The loch covered about 212 acres, one-half of which was in Sir W. Maxwell’s estate, the other half partly in Mr Vans Agnew’s and partly iii Lord Stair’s. Besides the bed of the loch reclaimed, there would be about 400 acres of Sir W. Maxwell’s adjacent lands which had been so little above high-water mark as to be incapable of being drained, so that there have been above 500 acres of workable land added to the Monreith estate. Beside the material value of the land reclaimed, the benefits arising from the improved climate were striking. In still damp weather, raw heavy fogs hung over the swampy bogs at the head of the loch before it was drained, diffusing their deleterious influences far over the adjacent lands; now that the stagnant marshes are dry, the surrounding air is purer and warmer, and consequently more healthy.

An interesting piece of reclamation was effected by the writer in 1857, on the farm of South Balfern, which, though of limited extent, shows the advantages to be gained by the drying of waste hollows. This was a bog of deep moss, with a top of light flow, called Cranberry Bog, containing about an acre and a half. It was surrounded on all sides by gravelly ridges, the lowest part of which was 14 feet above the surface of the bog. Having resolved on the course of the outlet, the first operation was to remove from along this the soil and gravel to a depth of 6 feet, which was carted on to the bog. Three hundred and fifty cubic yards of this were thus laid on the top of the moss, giving solidity to the light soil underneath. No burning was resorted to, as it was deemed of importance to keep the surface as high as possible. When the drains were opened, the bottoms in several places were found so soft and full of water that boards had to be used to support the tiles. A pole 12 feet long pushed down in these places could find no bottom. The success of this operation was complete, and in the following winter the bog was quite solid enough to bear the horses and plough. The expense of draining this waste, including the cutting of the outfall, with tiles and other charges, except carriages, was £15, of which the succeeding crop, oats, repaid £10. The bog is now under cultivation, along with the field of which it occupies the centre.

Many thousand acres of profitless moss occupy the hollows formed by the surrounding arable land. The tenants of the adjoining farms generally receive permission from the landlord to reclaim as much of the moss as they choose, on the understanding that no rent is to be charged for the reclaimed land during the currency of existing leases. Large portions round the edge of the mosses have in this manner been made productive by the tenants. In reclaiming moss, the general plan of operations is—first, to cut an outfall 6 or 7 feet deep. which is commonly left open. Leading into this, the small drains are cut, 4 feet deep and 24 feet apart. When the moss is very soft, the drains are cut 2 feet deep at first, and allowed to stand for a time. After being finished, and when dry, the moss will have sunk nearly 2 feet. Oats, sown with guano, is the first crop; the second crop is oats not top-dressed. Twenty bushels, or two tons of lime per acre, are generally applied, and also a covering of till or gravel; after that the moss will be in a proper state for the cultivation of the potato. An extensive moss in Galdenoch, on the Lochnaw estate, the property of Sir Andrew Agnew, was lately reclaimed under the able direction of D. Guthrie, Esq., the factor on the estate. The extent of it is over 100 acres, and the cost for draining was £640. The tenant is to pay 10s. the acre for the reclaimed moss, besides interest on the outlaid capital.

Draining, which is the foundation of all improvement on the soil, was carried on vigorously as long as the Government money lasted, and between 1848 and 1853 great changes were made in various localities. Numerous instances might be given of enterprise and energy in carrying out improvements at that time, but we shall only allude to the lands of Craiglemine and Appleby. This is a property in the parish of Glasserton, Wigtownshire, which, previous to being purchased by George Guthrie, Esq., Rephad, in 1847, was in a very wild and unproductive state. A great part of it was of heavy till, full of water, but capable of much improvement. Moss entered largely into the composition of the hollows, while a large moor in a state of nature occupied the heights of Appleby. The extent of this property was 677 Scots acres, upon which Mr Guthrie expended £4250. He found it a wilderness, and made it a garden. The rental of it when it came into his hands was £422, 13s. 4d.; it was let after being improved to the present tenant at £1150.

Many farmers, seeing the benefits arising from capital thus expended, were induced to prosecute further improvements at their own cost; while considerate landlords, desirous of encouraging this spirit, entered into an agreement to meet their tenants half-way in draining, the proprietor furnishing the tiles and the tenant making the drains. This excellent rule still holds good on some well-managed estates, and there can be no doubt but it affords great encouragement to an enterprising tenant, without causing the ill-feeling that is apt to spring up at the end of a lease, when the tenant may have to leave behind him all substantial improvements executed solely at his own cost.

5. Early State of Agriculture.

The earliest local record of the terms which regulated the setting of land, appears in the Rent Roll of Barnbarroch, in the possession of R. Vans Agnew, Esq., M.P., and is dated 1624. The following extract is a specimen of the agreement between landlord and tenant at that time, and is given entire and verbatim

"Drumgargon, set with the land vi bolls corn, and vi peckis beir—pays yeirlie xl merkis money, v bolls beir—i veder—iii lambis—xii putrie, ij geis, 1 cog buter."

It will be seen from this that the tenant received on the land from the landlord when he took the farm, six bolls of corn and six pecks of bear, which he also had to leave when he gave it up. The yearly payment was forty merks, or £2, 4s. 5d., besides payment in kind or produce of five bells bear, one wedder, three lambs, twelve poultry, two geese, one kit of butter. The scarcity of money throughout the country at that time would no doubt be the cause of part of the stock on the farm belonging to the landlord (from which undoubtedly arose the law of hypothec), and also of the rent being partly paid in kind. A good wether sheep could be had for 3s. 2d. of our money, a good lamb fit for the butcher at one merk or 13d., and a goose at 6d. These were the valuations of the stock of the Baronies of Barnbarroch and Mochrum in 1624.

A century later, in 1729, we find the agreement on the same farm to be as follows:-

"Pays of silver rent yearly at the two terms 078,00 lbs., four geis, six kapons, twol chickens, half a stone of good butter, six good load of well wine peats—to plow the land—one horse to loading hay, corn, mucking two days if required, with caradges and horses as usual, and the half of the public burdens—the valuations being 30 lbs."

The tenant is here in possession of all the stock on the farm, and is gradually assuming a more independent position. The payments in kind remain the same as in last century. Referring to chickens and hens, there seems to have been a peculiar institution in most leases of last century, and that was the payment to the landlord of what was called "reek hens." At that period the architects of the farm-houses never seem to have made provision for the smoke or "reek" to escape. A hole was made in the roof, where it might find its way out, but without any chimney to conduct it upwards, it generally filled the whole house, and from sheer pressure forced itself out of door and windows. On the rafters of the house the poultry always lodged, and the best hen roosted most directly over the fire, hence the name "reek hen." These hens were esteemed great delicacies, and were continued as payment in kind in some leases as late as 1800.

Towards the middle of the last century the system of the rotation of cropping is first noticed. The following is an extract from a tack of the farm of Barwhannie, in the parish of Kirkinner, taken from the Barnbarroch papers, and is the first that bears on the subject, it is dated 1753 :—" Besides he is to be bound to break up no ground after the first 3 years of his lease that has not layn 5 years in grass, he is to cast out ye marl, take 4 crops running, then let it rest 6 years, then 3 crops, and then rest 6 years, and so on. " The use of marl was first introduced as a manure in Galloway about 1730. It was not generally applied, however, until much later in the century, when tenants were bound in their leases to cart it on to the land. The effect of this calcareous clay when applied to the exhausted soil was surprising. Instead of the long emaciated grain of former years, the oats grew plump and well filled; but the former character of the grain soon became apparent when the application was stopped.

One of the peculiarities of these counties during the past century was the great number of small holdings of land. In some districts the farms were nearly as large as they are at present, but in different localities small crofts were very numerous, and in consequence the counties were thickly inhabited. The country houses at that time, and indeed for long after, seem to have been of the most wretched description. They were commonly miserable dirty hovels, built with stones and mud, thatched with fern and turf, having low doors, and mere holes for windows without glass, but stuffed with turf, straw, or fragments of old clothes. Their cows lodged under the same roof with the tenants, and often without any intervening wall or partition. These wretched houses appear to have existed down to a late period. In a letter the writer has from the late Sir John M’Taggart of Ardwell, he refers to this, and says, "When I succeeded to my estate in 1810, the population must have been very great, as I took down a vast number of mere hovels." Indeed, a few specimens of the same kind of hovels may be seen at this time in the parish of Portpatrick.

The management on these small farms was of the most primitive description. A piece of land near the homestead was selected as being the most convenient, and this received all the manure made on the farm, which was carried out of the byre in baskets made the shape of the back; this was before the invention of wheelbarrows. This was called the "Bear Fey," from bear being so repeatedly sown on it. The rule of cropping has been alluded to in the extract of lease, and it may be remarked, that the first white crop was generally oats, then three or four successive crops of bear or bigg were taken. The bear was grown so extensively because the oats were thirled to particular mills, and the bear was not.

The implements of the time were of the rudest description. The roots of the all-prevailing whin formed the teeth of the harrows; these had to be taken home every evening to be sharpened and hardened in the fire. For the plough chains they took the skin of any of their horses that died, cut it into stripes, and tanned them; these were called "strekins." Their horses’ collars were manufactured by plaiting straw, usually done in the evenings by some of themselves. Thus they had a very cheap harnessing for their horses or bullocks—six of the latter and two of the former being common in one plough in 1750.

The want of suitable markets at that time, in two counties so distant from the centres of population as Wigtown and Kirkcudbright, was a great drawback to the advance of agriculture; for we find in 1776, that cattle sold to the butcher at home were worth only 2d. to 2 1/2d. per lb. The great bulk of the fat cattle had therefore to be sent to London on foot. They walked fifteen miles a-day, and took thirty days on the journey, and cost for driving and charges 18s. to £1, 4s. They paid the expenses well, for what was offered for from £10 to £5 at home, sold there from £15 to £18."

The following extract from the Barnbarroch papers shows the profit on feeding stock at that time:-

Account of Cows bought for feeding fat in spring 1750 — 32 Cows bought from 22 different persons cost


£ 40.17.2

5 {  To be deducted 4 of ye winterings and 1 of ye summers cows kept for my own use


£ 6.1.10


£ 34.15.4

27 Cows sold to P. M’Adam in Baldoon, 13 of them taken of the grass in Sept., the rest in Nov. — payable at Martinmas


£ 54.13.0


£ 19.17.8

Given Luckpenny


£ 0.10.6      

Nett Profit:


£ 19.7.2  

The feeding stock was usually bought in spring, the cows at that time being very lean, after the scanty winter fare obtainable for them.

From a list of prices of farm stock and crop in the possession of the writer, commencing with 1772, it appears that the price of good two-year old black cattle at that date was £2, 2s. each, and the boll of oats and bear, consisting of 12 imperial bushels, was £1 and £1, 6s. respectively. These low prices for cattle continued with slight variations for ten years, when a gradual improvement began to show itself, and by the end of the century two-year old cattle were worth from £8 to £9. Later on, for three years ending 1813, the average price for that time was about £13, 13s. The improvement in the price of grain was longer in commencing, and it was not until 1800 that a very decided change took place. Owing to the excessive dearth that occurred that year, oats suddenly rose to £4 the boll, or 6s. 8d. the bushel, and bear for the same measure rose to £5, or 8s. 4d. the bushel.

But between the middle and the end of the century, a long and dreary night of low prices had reigned, oats frequently falling as low as 16s. the boll, or 1s. 4d. the bushel, and only on one year (1785), reaching 2s. 6d. the bushel. The rent of land during that period was what we would consider now merely nominal. In 1765 the farm of Kirkland of Longcastle, and parish of Kirkinner, the property of Sir W. Maxwell of Monreith, was let to J. M’Adam for £106, 13s. 4d. Scots money, equal to £8, 17s. 8d. sterling. This was what was called the silver rent; there were also payable 5 bolls bear and meal, some chickens and peats, besides ploughing as much land as would sow 5 pecks oats, and harvesting the same. The rent of this farm at present is £281. The farm of Cairnfield, belonging to Sir W. Maxwell, was in 1781 rented by W. M’Adam at about £15 sterling, the rent of which is at present £202. These examples will serve to show the very low state of agriculture at the time, many landlords offering their farms for cultivation free of rent charge.

The wages of farm servants of the period were as follows:-
Ploughmen in master’s house for the summer half year, £1, 10s. to £2, 2s.; women’s wages for the same time, £1, 5s.; harvest wages, £1, 3s. to £1. 5s., "the men to provide their own hooks and hold themselves up." Low as rents and wages were, the farmers of Galloway had great difficulty in meeting their engagements with their landlords. Rents could not be got paid for months after they were due, and when paid, had often to be borrowed by the less fortunate tenant from the neighbour who was in a more thriving state.

At the conclusion of the first American war in 1783, taxes being increased to an alarming extent, a number of farmers in Wigtownshire, seeing a new country opened to them under a more liberal rule, and free from these objections, resolved to make an attempt to better their condition by emigrating to the land of the West. Accordingly, two vessels were chartered to proceed to America, and between eighty and ninety tenant farmers sailed from Isle of Whithorn to seek their fortunes in the land of freedom. Shortly after this farms were gradually enlarged, fences erected, and a gradual advance made in rural management, to which various causes contributed, and to which we would now advert.

6. Causes which tended to the Advancement of Agriculture.

The first impetus the agriculture of the two counties received was consequent on the high prices of grain during the French war. Gold or silver had always hitherto been a scarce commodity in Galloway. No transaction of buying or selling was ever settled in cash. Bills or promissory notes were given and taken for the smallest, as well as for the largest amount. Tradesmen’s accounts, and even servants’ wages, were paid in the same manner. When the excitement of the French war brought prices double of what had ever been heard of, and gold found its way into the district, the farming interest began to flourish. New steadings with thrashing mills were erected, strong and substantial fences were put up, and improvements on all sides became visible. The rent of land received an extraordinary advance, and at the set of the Baldoon estate in 1806, just before purchased by the Earl of Galloway, such was the excitement, and the eagerness to possess land, that the auctioneer had to restrain his bidders with the caution, "Remember, gentlemen, you are not purchasing the land, you are only leasing it." But, alas! the high built hopes that these prices would always remain were suddenly dashed to the ground; for on the cessation of the war in 1815, the low prices which followed drained the farmers’ pockets, of most, if not of all their capital, leaving them completely in the power of their landlords, who in some instances, at least, did not push their advantage to the utmost. A period of great depression in agriculture ensued, and for twenty years neither landlords nor tenants were possessed of ability or spirit to prosecute much improvement.

An important event occurred in 1835, which contributed in no small degree to the progress of agriculture in the district. This was the opening up of the English markets by the steamer "Countess of Galloway." The want of a suitable outlet for the produce of these distant counties has been noticed previously. How much more would this be felt before steam navigation was introduced, when large numbers of sheep and cattle were fed on turnips with no outlet for them, but by the long and exhausting journey by land, or the still more precarious voyage in a sailing vessel. The nearest and most accessible market to West Galloway at that time was Ayr or Dumfries. But the journey for a bullock which had been stall fed for six months was wearisome, and the waste on the animal was calculated at from £1 to £2. On the other hand, if Liverpool was attempted by sea, there was no other communication but the small sailing coasters, which might be weeks on the voyage. The late Mr Edward Speed of Liverpool was about the first to push and persevere in the trade of shipping cattle in sailing vessels to Liverpool. Frequently have these frail crafts left Garlieston or Isle of Whithorn with their living cargoes, to be driven back to the port they started from, or have been obliged to take shelter in some distant harbour, where the animals were disposed of often at great loss. The uncertainty of this mode of transit, and the increasing demand for a more sure conveyance, led the proprietors, pre-eminent among whom was the late Earl of Galloway, and the farmers of both counties, to the idea of building a new steamer expressly for the purpose of carrying live stock. Accordingly, a fine safe steamer, the "Countess of Galloway," was put on the station, thus placing the Liverpool market within twelve hours of the two counties. Cattle and sheep by this conveyance could he shipped on the Saturday, and by the Tuesday or Wednesday following the returns with the money were safe in the pockets of the shippers.

Previous to the introduction of steam communication with Liverpool, sheep feeding on turnips had been carried on only to a limited extent. The chief part of the green crop break was planted with potatoes, which flourished around the shore, and produced great crops when manured with the sea-weed found so plentifully on many parts of the coast. The few turnips that were produced were used for the wintering of black cattle, the natives of the district, either in large open courts on the arable farms, or were given to supplement the fodder on the hill side in sheltered places in the higher districts. Sheep feeding on turnips was commenced about the beginning of the present century, on the farm of Stewarton, by a Mr Heron, after which the system gained ground slowly until about 1817, when Highland wedders were introduced. The supply of wedders for turnip feeding had hitherto been obtained from the hill farms in Minnigaff. These were purchased in autumn, and, when brought down to their feeding grounds, had to be at once enclosed on turnips by hurdles or nets; but, from the number of deaths among them, the profits were never very great. Mr R. M’Clelland, North Balfern, and Mr J. Greenshields, Stewarton, were among the first to introduce wedders to Wigtownshire from Falkirk. They being of a hardier constitution than the native breeds generally, left good returns. With the command of the English markets, sheep and cattle feeding increased to a great extent. New feeding byres were speedily erected, or the long empty sheds previously used for wintering cattle were fitted up with stalls. Large droves of Highland wedders were brought into the counties to consume the turnips, the cultivation of which had by this time greatly increased. After the failure of the potato crop in 1846, the cultivation of the turnip was farther increased, and guano and bone manure coming into general use, the number of cattle and sheep annually fattened became rapidly larger. In 1847 a new and larger steamer, the present "Countess of Galloway," was built, and superseded the old steamer, it being found too small for the requirements of the trade. The new steamer had accommodation for 200 cattle, besides several hundred sheep, and was capable of running three times a week to Liverpool and back; and previous to the opening of the Portpatrick Railway, in the spring months, its capabilities were fully taxed.

Another important event occurred in 1846, which contributed in no small degree to the advance of agriculture. This was the introduction of the turnip-cutter for sheep feeding. About 1833 lambs from Moffat and Lockerbie began to be introduced for feeding on turnips. These were generally kept on grass as late in the season as December, and were always fed along with old wedders, which broke the roots for the lambs, and induced them to begin eating sooner. When the lambs cast their teeth early in the spring, they made very little progress toward maturity on nothing but the hard Swedes, from which they could scarcely scrape as much as would keep them alive. The turnip-cutter was therefore a great improvement; and though a good deal of prejudice existed for a long time against the "trough system" of feeding, by degrees the advantages of it became so apparent that, in a few years, these machines began to be generally used, and now there is scarcely a farm where several are not in daily use during winter. Young sheep by this means are kept in good growing condition all winter, and when the spring arrives, where they have been liberally treated, can be sold off the turnips fit for the butcher.

The introduction of ground bones and guano as manures exercised an influence most marked on the progress of agriculture. Before that the only manure available for green crop was farmyard manure, which being made without the consumption of feeding stuffs or turnips, was not very rich in fertilising properties. Sometimes large quantities of the ashes of the quicken grass, which had been lifted off the fallow-land, very frequently in a foul state, were applied in the turnip drills, and raised excellent crops as far as they went. Ground bones had been in use, partially at least, in Wigtownshire since 1832. In that year Mr Thomas Routledge opened a bone-crushing mill at the village of Eldrig, Mochrum, and from that date the "Old Mill of Mochrum" has been quite an institution in the county. The present Sir W. Maxwell took a lively interest in the undertaking, and was the first to put a bone between the rollers. Guano was introduced about 1842, and was generally in use four or five years afterward. It is curious to compare the quantities applied per acre five and twenty years ago with what is required now. In a note-book of manuring belonging to the writer, dated 1848, 2 cwt. of Peruvian guano, with 10 bushels of half-inch bones, and 16 carts of farm-yard manure, was considered an extra application for Swedes, while the general quantities for the same crop were 2 cwt. guano and 20 bushels bones, without the farm-yard manure. The price of the guano that year was 9s. 6s. the cwt., and the bones 2s. 3 1/2d. the bushel, making the total value of the two manures £2, 4s. l0d. the acre; not one-half of the cost of the manurial application of the present day.

Saldanah Bay and Ichabee guano were largely imported from Liverpool, and used with great success shortly after 1848. At that time these guanos were rejected as almost worthless by the Lothian farmers, who for many years afterwards would apply no manure to their green crop but the best ammoniacal Peruvian guano. It was demonstrated by experiment, as well as by the practice in Wigtownshire about that date, that equal parts of phosphatic guanos and Peruvian guano mixed would produce as good results in raising green crops as the same quantity of Peruvian guano alone, thus anticipating by some years the theory promulgated subsequently by the Society’s and other chemists, and which is now accepted as correct, that the larger percentage of ammonia found in Peruvian guano is not requisite for the growth of green crop.

7. Farms and Farming System.

As formerly noticed, the crofting system was at one time very general in these counties, but more particularly in Wigtown. These crofts have been thrown very much together, forming farms of moderate size, the particular fields of which still bear in many places the original name of the ancient divisions. There are still a few of these small holdings, some of which are not of sufficient extent to give constant employment to a man and a pair of horses. In that case, where crofts are contiguous, the crofters borrow and lend, so as to work their land at the least possible expense. The greater part of the arable land consists of farms of moderate size, from 100 to 600 acres, few exceeding the latter figure. In the Stewartry, where the proprietors are very numerous, the owners of the small estates farm their own land; there being between 200 and 300 landowners whose rentals vary from £500 to £l00, and 70 under £100. Several of the smaller class of arable farms are held by one tenant, some of the smaller proprietors also holding farms on which they do not reside.

Leases are much more commonly the rule in Wigtownshire than in Kirkcudbright. In the latter county, on the Selkirk estate, the farms are not generally let on lease except at the special desire of the tenants, when a valuation is put on them, often accompanied by a rise of rent. When no lease is sought, the rents are seldom advanced; some of the Earl of Selkirk’s farms being occupied by tenants whose forefathers had been on the land for 200 years. In Wigtownshire the most of the farms are let on leases of nineteen years, it being considered undesirable to shorten or extend the time.

A considerable difference exists as to the time and conditions of entry. On the Galloway estate the entries are nearly all at Martinmas ( November 11th ), the outgoing tenant being bound by the conditions of lease to sell at a valuation all his white and green crops to the landlord, who hands them over to the incoming tenant at the same price. The white crop is valued by two arbitrators, mutually chosen, who take proof in harvest; that is, every twentieth stook is selected, stacked, and thrashed separately, the rest of the crop being computed by the produce of the proof. The thrashing of the proof takes place at Candlemas ( February 2nd ), when the one-half of the produce is valued and paid, the other half is payable at Whitsunday ( 7th Sunday after Easter ) . The incoming tenant is bound to pay the sum expended on seeds, provided they have not been depastured after harvest, in which case the outgoing tenant forfeits the amount; but in most cases this is matter of arrangement between the outgoing and incoming tenant. Whatever ploughing is done on the stubbles before Martinmas by the outgoing tenant has also to be paid for. On the Selkirk estate the entries are mostly at Whitsunday, the outgoing tenant having the white crop, which is taken at a valuation on the foot at harvest by two arbitrators mutually chosen. Where it can be arranged, the incoming tenant gets his horses stabled on the premises to plough the turnip break, but the stubble furrow has to be paid for. This entry is preferred by many as requiring less capital at starting, but the valuation of the growing corn at harvest is frequently very wide of the mark. The time of entry to nearly all the hill farms is at Whitsunday as being the most convenient for all parties.

The rotation under which the arable land has, until lately, been cultivated, is the five-course shift, but a growing inclination is being shown to tend this to the six-course. The order of the crops is :—Oats or barley on the lea; green crop—turnips, potatoes, or mangold; wheat, barley, or oats; seeds or hay; grass.

The six-course shift has recently been adopted on a number of farms, and consists of allowing the land to remain two years in grass instead of one, the crops in the rotation given above remaining the same. By extending the time between the repetition of the green crop, the disease of finger-and-toe is less liable to be produced, and heavier crops of turnips grown, also the quantity and quality of the grain is said to be improved under the lengthened rotation. Twenty-five years ago it was customary in some localities to take two white crops in succession after the lea, but this practice is now almost discontinued. The rotation on the clay or alluvial soils differs from that on the hard land, and is as follows:— Beans on the lea manured; oats; summer fallow; wheat with seeds; seeds; grass.

The land in the two counties is nearly all forerented, that is, the first half-year’s rent is collected six months after entry. An exception to this rule is found on the Baldoon estate, the property of the Earl of Galloway, where the first half-year’s rent is not due until nine months after entry. Twenty-five years ago the rents of several of the farms on different estates were regulated by the fiars price of grain, but at present there are few that are governed by this fluctuating, and at best unsatisfactory, method. Unsatisfactory it is to the farmer, as the custom has now been introduced among dealers of purchasing grain by so many pounds weight,—say wheat at 65 lbs., oats at 45 lbs., and barley at 56 lbs. These quantities are given in evidence as imperial bushels, thus raising unduly the fiars prices.

8. Cultivation and Produce of the Corn Crops.

According to the Government returns in 1871, the total acreage under all kinds of corn crops in Kirkcudbright was 35,338, which was apportioned as follows ;—Wheat, 993 acres; barley or bear, 620 acres; oats, 33,443 acres; rye, 34 acres; beans, 243 acres; peas, 3 acres. In Wigtown there were at the same time under all kinds of corn crops, 39,800 acres, which were made up of the following :—Wheat, 4364 acres; barley, 1568 acres; oats, 33,307 acres; rye, 150 acres; beans, 402 acres; 9 acres in peas.

Wigtownshire from an early date has been a wheat-producing county. Jeffery, in his communication to the commissioners of the annexed estates in 1777, says—" Till very lately every bushel of wheat used in the town of Dumfries was imported from a distance," of which a considerable quantity was sent from Wigtownshire. No doubt the open winter climate of this county partly accounts for the increased acreage under wheat compared with Kirkcudbright. The freedom from frost of the western portion of Wigtownshire affords frequent opportunities of wheat sowing on the turnip land as soon as it is cleared in winter. Wheat after turnips succeeds best when sown in early winter, say in November; and every exertion is put forth to get the land cleared and sown up immediately. In the best farmed districts the land receives, before being ploughed, a top dressing of farm-yard manure, from 20 to 30 loads the acre, and no plant is more grateful for an application of this kind than the wheat. The succeeding grass crop is much benefited also. Except in settled weather, every day’s ploughing is sown and harrowed before night, that is, on what is termed the "green furrow," as it is found, if the newly ploughed surface gets wet, harrowing is never so satisfactorily performed at that season. During the month of December it is deemed advisable to suspend wheat sowing, except under very tempting circumstances, until the middle or end of January, when every favourable opportunity is taken advantage of for proceeding with the seeding, which is frequently continued as late as the middle of March. The quantity sown per Scots acre, during winter and spring, is never less than 4 bushels or more than 5 bushels. The autumn-sown wheat is cultivated on the alluvial soils after a bare summer fallow. It is sown in September, or as soon as the teams can be spared after harvest, when the fallow receives a single furrow to ridge it up in the way in which it is to remain all winter. The quantity sown per Scots acre varies from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 bushels, according to the taste of the sower. (A bushel is a measure of 8 imperial gallons).

The varieties in cultivation are numerous, but we will only mention the most important, with their chief characteristics. Red chaff grows stiff in the straw, is a hardy wheat for a damp climate, and well suited for strong land, not being easily lodged, grain slightly dark in colour, and in the English markets sells from 6d. to 8d. the bushel less than the whiter kinds. This variety is grown exclusively by Mr Sproat on the clay soils of Baldoon. Chiddam and red straw are fine wheats, but liable to rust in wet summers, especially the latter. Waterloo or woolly-eared wheat, fine sample, but easily damaged in stock with broken weather. Essex white is a general favourite, but apt to get lodged on heavy land. Talavera, a large open pickle, and the best spring wheat we have. April or away wheat is not so much cultivated as it used to be.

It would be impossible to arrive at a satisfactory estimate of the average produce of the wheat crop in the two counties; the seasons are so variable that the produce occasionally falls very low, and in a good wheat year it is proportionately increased. The extremes may be given at 17 to 50 bushels the Scots acre, though it may be a question whether the mean of these figures would represent the average. The quality of the wheat ranges from 57 lbs. to 63 lbs. the bushel; but in moist winters it is usually deficient in condition until the spring. It is found of great importance in preventing the degeneracy of the produce to change the seed frequently. Wheat grown in England is best suited for this purpose.

The number of acres under oats in each of the counties is nearly the same, there being in Kirkcudbright 33,445 acres, and in Wigtown 33,307 acres; making a total of 66,752 acres.

Oats are sown on the lea break, or after the green crop. Those grown on the former are much finer in quality than what are grown after turnips or potatoes. The ploughing of the lea preparatory for this crop begins about Martinmas, and should be finished in time to allow the furrows to become consolidated before receiving the seed. Sowing commences from the middle of March to the end of the month, as the weather permits. There used to be a custom in Galloway, and one that was very strictly observed, that the sowing must be commenced on a certain day—the 12th of March old style—whether wet or dry. On that day one bag, at least, had to be sown, whatever the weather was, or the crop would never come to any good. Early sowing was more popular twenty-five years ago than now, many fields being finished by the 1st of March in the early districts; but latterly few farmers think of beginning until the middle of the month.

Oats sown early produce grain of a better quality, but less in quantity, than those sown late; it is also an advantage to have a field or two early ripe in harvest, so that the grain may not be all ready for the machine at one time. The quantity sown varies from 5 bushels to 7 bushels the Scots acre. Thick sowing, it is argued by many, improves the fodder, an important consideration certainly, but one which should scarcely be entertained at the expense of the grain produce. A great many different varieties are sown, of which the following are the most important :—Potato oats are grown extensively, but chiefly on the better class of soils; on thin, poor land the straw does not bulk much. The quality of this variety is from 38 to 44 lbs. the bushel. Sandy, generally preferred for high districts, not being liable to shed the grain in stormy weather; the straw is bad fodder, but the grain meals well. It is a stiff-strawed grain, and used on heavy, loamy land. The quality runs from 40 to 43 lbs. the bushel. Canadian is a variety recently introduced; but is getting into disuse from the small produce. The grain is of superior quality, some parcels weighing 46 lbs. the bushel. The straw is not good fodder. The Early Angus, Birley, and others have each their own advocates; these varieties are sown chiefly on the secondary description of soils in the inland districts. Top-dressing with artificial manures is not much practised except on soils subject to the attacks of the grub, when 2 cwt. of some strong ammoniacal guano or manure is applied. It is the custom on some farms to top-dress the lea break with farm-yard manure in autumn before ploughing. It may be questioned how far this is good practice, as the winter rains wash the substance out of the manure before the plants are ready to be benefited by it.

In attempting to give a name to the average produce of the oats in the two counties, the same difficulty presents itself as in averaging the wheat. No doubt the variations in the seasons will not cause so much difference in the produce of the oat crop as in the wheat crop; the former being less liable to be affected by cold, wet summers than the latter. At the same time, the quality of the soil on which oats are cultivated is more unequal, comprising as it does at once the best and the worst, from the deep rich land along the shore on both sides of the Isle of Whithorn, or, if we cross the bay, the sound and productive soil on the shore of Fleet Bay, in the parish of Anworth, to the thin moorish land, half covered with small white stones—the emblems of its poverty—which has been reclaimed from the mountain far up among the heather. The highest produce we have heard of, and which is occasionally reached, is 84 bushels the Scots acre; the lowest among the mountain soils, 24 bushels. The mean of these two quantities is 54, which will be considerably above the average, which may be between 40 and 45 bushels.

Like wheat, oats, when sown on the same land repeatedly, soon deteriorates in quality. The grain begins to grow long and slender in the pickle, while at the same time a long black awn becomes attached to it. When this is observed, the sooner a change of seed is effected the better. East Lothian and Berwickshire are considered the best places to obtain seed from. An excellent change of seed is obtained from grain grown on the clay soils, and it is much sought after by farmers on the hard land.

The number of acres of barley in both counties is 2188. This grain is generally grown after green crop, but it has been successfully grown on the lea, where the quality produced is very superior on suitable soils. Considerable judgement is requisite in selecting a proper soil for the growth of barley, and great care is necessary in having this properly pulverised and prepared for the reception of the seed. Sowing commences about the 10th of April, with the English or chevalier barley, and it is continued until the end of the month. The Scotch or common barley can he sown later than the chevalier, and is said to produce more bushels to the acre, but the quality is rather inferior. The colour of barley is generally darker when it is grown after sheep feeding on turnips, than when after potatoes, or on the lea. The quantity of seed sown is about 4 bushels the Scots acre, but where the land is well manured 3 1/2 bushels are sufficient. The produce may be estimated from 60 bushels to 30 bushels the Scots acre, perhaps the mean 45 bushels will be the average. The quality varies from 56 to 50 lbs. the bushel.

Beans are not extensively cultivated, there being 645 acres in the two counties in 1871. They are chiefly sown broadcast on the clay soils on the lea, having received previous to its being ploughed 20 or 30 yards of farm-yard manure. Good crops are also raised on hard land in drills, where they occupy the place of green crop. When the weather admits they are sown in March, at the rate of about 4 bushels the Scots acre. A few fitches or peas are mixed with the seed. The old "Moss of Cree" bean is not so generally sown as formerly, some of the larger varieties taking its place. Few beans are exported, the local dairymen buying up the produce for cow feeding.

Rye and peas occupy 184 acres and 12 acres respectively. The former is cultivated on soft, mossy ground, where no other grain would succeed. It is principally used for feeding purposes; the straw is much sought after by saddlers for stuffing their horses’ collars.

The sowing of the cereals is mostly accomplished by hand, though broadcast machines have been in use for many years on some farms suitable for their working. Corn-drills have been recently introduced, and are growing in favour. A number of these machines were in use the last two years; but, owing to the broken nature of large portions of the cultivated ground, and the prevalence of stones on the surface, their use will necessarily be restricted.

Mr Mechi’s doctrine regarding thin sowing has not met with much support in our northern climate. Whatever benefits may be derived from the adoption of that gentleman’s ideas on this subject in the south, where the summer is long and forcing, both theory and practice point out their inapplicability to every part of the country. Experience has shown very decidedly that grain, sown thinly in Galloway soils, does not ripen so early, nor is the produce of such good quality, as that which is sown moderately thickly. Take wheat, for example, sown in spring. If the plants appear above ground far apart, their first effort is to cover the intervening spaces by tillering. Before this can be done the best part of the summer is over when the flowering takes place and the consequence is that the grains in the long open heads remain only partially matured, even in a favourable season, while in a damp summer they fall a prey to rust or mildew. The same remarks apply to oats; when sown thin they ripen unequally, and do not produce a fine sample of grain. The only exception to this rule is the wheat grown on the clay soils after fallow. When sown early in September the plants have sufficient time to cover all the ground before winter sets in, so that, when spring arrives, the main stems all being formed, the plants push on quickly to maturity.

9. Harvesting, Thrashing, and Marketing.

The harvesting of the corn crops in this wet climate is always a source of great anxiety to the arable farmer. Corn of all kinds generally grows bulky as to straw, and a wet day or two occurring before harvest, as not infrequently happens, causes great havoc among the tall grain, making the cutting of it both troublesome and expensive. The first ripe grain is the autumn wheat on the alluvial soils, which is ready for cutting from the 1st to the 10th of August on the Baldoon lands. Harvest is not general until the 20th, in the average of years, on land within six or eight miles of the sea coast, while in the inland and higher districts it is much later. The grain is now cut down by machine, scythe, and hook,—the latter being only employed where machines cannot be used. Five and twenty years ago nothing but the hook was used, there being no want of Irish shearers eager to he employed at 1s. 6d. or 2s. a-day, or £2, 2s. for the harvest fee with victuals, or 5s. a-week for board money. Now, scarcely a man from the sister isle can be had except he is expressly sent for; and his fee for harvest, in 1873, was £4, l0s. to £5, with 9s. a week for board wages. The system of paying harvest men board wages is now common. This began to be introduced about twenty-five years ago, and is a decided improvement on the old plan of feeding the men in the farm kitchen. The grain, when cut, is set up in eight or ten sheaves on the field, the good old practice of "hooding" being almost entirely given up. The abandonment of this custom is much to be regretted, as, when properly set up and securely covered by the "hoods," a stook will stand a great deal of rain without being wet through. In the disastrous harvest of 1872, wheat stooks with "hoods" were found to be not so much damaged by sprouting as where they were awanting. When ready for being put together the grain is carted to the stackyard, which is always adjoining the office-houses, built into round stacks of about 100 bushels each, and securely thatched and roped. No barns are provided for the grain. The stacks of grain, being built near to the thrashing machines, are taken down and thrashed as the straw is required for the cattle in the homestead during winter. These machines are driven by water, steam, or horses, the number of the horse-mills being now very restricted. It is preferred by some to thrash out a great part of their crop early in winter, and at the same time to forward the grain to market. This they are enabled to do very readily, as there are a number of travelling mills in the district, which have been a great convenience to the farmers. When these machines are thus employed the straw is carefully stacked up and secured, but cattle do not eat it so readily in winter as that which is newly thrashed, owing to the difficulty of keeping it quite dry.

Reference has been made previously to the distance at which the two counties are placed from good markets; and although these have been now brought within a reasonable distance by the introduction of steam, there still remains the expense of sending all that the farm produces to these distant markets. The cheapest mode of conveyance, by which the greater part of the produce of Galloway can be marketed, is by sea. Wigtownshire, with its 140 miles of sea-board, and nine or ten convenient shipping ports, placed at almost regular intervals along the coast, can never be said to be in want of outlets by which its produce of all kinds can be sent to market. The same remarks apply to Kirkcudbright, whose sea-board, though not so extensive, is furnished with several excellent shipping ports.

The chief markets to which the grain is exported are Liverpool, Lancaster, Preston, the Cumberland ports, Campbelton, and Glasgow. In favourable seasons the quality of the oats grown on the best soils is very good, and in spring bring a high price in the Liverpool market for seed. But it is only for the very best that the highest price can be obtained there, secondary qualities bringing comparatively low figures. For this description of oats Whitehaven is considered the best market, the expenses attending the shipment and sale being considerably less. Scotch wheat is not in favour in the Liverpool market, Consequently very little of it finds its way in that direction from Galloway. Whitehaven and Lancaster, or Preston, receive nearly all the wheat exported, at which ports there is generally a fair demand for good qualities. There is a good local market in the lower district of Wigtownshire for the greater portion of the barley sold, the Messrs M’Clelland purchasing between 20,000 and 30,000 bushels annually for their distillery at Bladnoch; what remains, after supplying several breweries, is shipped generally to Campbelton.

The expenses attending the marketing of grain are very considerable, the charges to and at Liverpool being the highest, and between freight, commission, and other items, amounts to 12 per cent. on the sales. A new market has been opened at Barrow-in-Furness, which, from its accessibility to Galloway by sea, is worthy of notice here. It has already established its name as a ready market for oats and wheat; and if the projected works are carried out, there is no doubt it will continue to be an excellent mart for all kinds of grain.

10. The Cultivation of the Green Crops.

In 1857, according to the Government returns, there were 15,414 acres in Kirkcudbright, and 18,595 acres in Wigtown, under green crop; in 1871, 18,538 acres in Kirkcudbright, and 19,563 acres in Wigtown, making an increase of 968 acres in the latter county, and 3124 acres in the former.

The green crop occupies the second place in land under rotation, being immediately preceded by the oat crop on the lea. The first preparation for the green crop is the ploughing of the stubbles after harvest. Autumn cultivation and cleaning of the land from couch has been strongly recommended by many writers on agriculture; but, owing to the moist climate of the south of Scotland, this is rarely practicable. Where land is under good management, there need be little trouble with couch, and it may be said with truth of the majority of farms in Galloway, that the labour caused by this troublesome weed has now been reduced to a minimum. Five and twenty years ago it was different. At that time the fallows did not receive the same amount of attention they do now; consequently, it was no unusual sight to see fields, the cultivation of which had been deferred until late in spring, growing green with weeds, into which cattle or sheep had been turned to keep down the vegetation on the surface. With improved implements, but especially by a liberal use of lime and manure, couch in a great measure disappeared, so that in general the simple ploughing of the stubbles is all that is necessary.

The ploughing is always as deep as the nature of the soil admits. It is sometimes executed with three horses in the common plough, or with one plough following in the track of another; the first one turning down the surface furrow, the second turning up or loosening the soil underneath. As lime, where applied, has a tendency to sink in the soil, the advantage of deep ploughing is very obvious. But the majority of Galloway soils do not admit of deep cultivation, especially those on till subsoils. This till is impregnated with a red oxide of iron, which gives it this colour, and is deleterious to vegetation, and, if mixed largely with the soil, destroys to a certain extent its fertility. In this case it is advisable only to stir the subsoil, so that the action of the lime, manures, and rain may gradually convert it into soil fit for the use of plants.

In spring, when land has a tendency to become foul, early cultivation is necessary before vegetation has made progress on the surface. Where this is the case with fallow, it generally receives a double turn of heavy harrows, the teeth of which are well sharpened, across the winter furrow before being ploughed, which much facilitates future operations in separating the couch from the soil; after being ploughed the harrows are again used; two double turns being necessary to bring it to the surface, after which the chain harrows are of great service in completing the separation of the couch from the soil. It is still the custom with some to burn the weeds taken from fallows on the field that has been cleaned. Little can be said to recommend this wasteful practice beyond the saving in cartage, and the facility with which they are got quit of at the time. If taken to the manure stead and rotted with urine, an excellent compound is formed valuable as a fertiliser.

With clean fallows, the work in spring, before being drilled, is comparatively trifling. A single furrow, followed by two double turns of the harrows, is generally sufficient on light friable soils. In some cases even the ploughing is dispensed with, and grubbing substituted. In dry scorching weather, such as frequently occurs in spring, the less light soils are turned the better. By exposing the under part of them to the sun, the natural moisture is dissipated, on the presence of which in the soil a regular braird of turnips depends, and besides, the humus compounds are wasted by the exposure. Occasionally, the drills are formed out of the winter furrow without any previous preparation except a double turn of the harrows. Where the land is friable and free from weeds, this method suits well, and generally ensures a regular braird in dry weather.

The drills are formed by the double-mould board plough, 27 or 28 inches for Swedes and yellows; while for mangold a width of 26 inches is deemed sufficient, and for potatoes 30 inches are preferred.

When artificial manures alone are used for turnips, the custom has hitherto prevailed of making the drills very shallow, with the avowed intention of placing the fertilisers near to the roots of the plants. This is a mistake. The roots of the turnip plant penetrate to a considerable depth in search of nourishment, and the great object to be sought after in the cultivation of the Swede is to manure as much of the subsoil as possible, so as to entice the rootlets downwards, and to bring it into a condition fit for affording sustenance to the plants. For this reason the shallow drill system is beginning to be abandoned by many of its most zealous advocates, who have found out the advantages of placing the manures deep in the soil.

Manure distributors are beginning to be introduced, and, when they act properly, are a great improvement on the hand sowing. These machines sow the manures in rows in the bottom of the drills or broadcast; the former method is more generally approved of, as placing them more immediately under the plants, and in direct contact with the roots, as soon as the seed shall braird. This theory may hold good in the earlier stages of the growth of the turnip, but if the manures are put under the plants, what is to nourish the lateral rootlets which spread out when the Swedes are in full growth during summer? At this time the small thread-like fibres, proceeding from the main roots, meet quite across the space between the rows, spreading in fact under ground as far as the leaves extend on the surface. Any one may satisfy himself of this interesting fact by examining the soil between the drills at the time the turnips have arrived at their full growth, when these minute fibres can be discovered under any flat stone, forming a close and beautiful network. These facts establish the importance of manuring all the soil, and of depositing the manure at different depths, so that in the process of hoeing some of it may be pushed into the space between the rows to become available during the future growth of the plants.

To attempt to enumerate and describe all the different manures in use would occupy a space exceeding the limits of this paper. We shall merely indicate the character of those most in favour, and now generally in use. From an early date in the history of fertilisers, the Galloway farmers, as previously alluded to, have preferred phosphatic manures to those containing large proportions of ammonia. This may have arisen from the moist character of the climate preventing the proper action of the latter; for it is an ascertained fact that ammoniacal manures require sunshine and dry weather for the proper development of their qualities. Be this as it may, the character of the manures in use has been determined very much upon this principle, and it is not considered advantageous or economical to have above three or four per cent. of ammonia present in manure applied to green crop.

"How do you mix your colours ?" was a question," says the author of "Horse Subsecivae," "put by a young artist to his more experienced brother. ‘With brains, sir."’ And there are more things mixed with brains than oil colours. One of these is artificial manure preparatory to sowing. It is a fact worthy of note, that the farmer rarely applies any one of the many artificial manures by itself. There is somehow a want of confidence in any of them individually that leads to the mixture of them all, but upon what principle this is adopted has not been explained. In the case of guano it is different. Mejillones, with its 70 per cent. of phosphates, and less than 1 per cent, of ammonia, is not considered a suitable guano to apply alone. It is therefore mixed with nitrate of soda, sulphate of ammonia, Guanappe or other ammoniacal guano, so as to increase the percentage of ammonia. It is this principle that has guided the farmer in the application of light manures to the green crop, to the adoption of which he has been undoubtedly led by the effects of the climate and the results produced.

Bone manure has long been one of the most valuable and important of the fertilisers, and calls for a separate notice here. It has received, as it deserves, more of the confidence of the farmer than any other of the manufactured manures. Forty years ago the Old Mill at Eldrig village, Mochrum, commenced grinding rough bones, but for many years the machinery was in an imperfect state, as the large pieces of bone which had been applied to the land more than thirty years ago still turning up undissolved testify. There is also a hone mill belonging to a company at Innermessan, near Stranraer, and another at Dalbeattie, belonging to Messrs Biggar. Large cargoes are also imported from various quarters, more or less genuine. It cannot be said that the quality of this manure has been improved by the introduction of boiled bones. The gelatine which is extracted in the process of boiling is valuable as a manure, containing, according to Liebig, about 528 per cent, of nitrogen; the dry bones contain about 32 per cent. of dry gelatine. Yet to all appearance the bone manure in use contains a large proportion of the boiled bones, which, being almost destitute of ammonia, have only the phosphates to recommend them.

The quantity of manure applied per acre for Swedes varies according to the enterprise or ability of the farmer. Used alone, 6 to 12 cwt. of artificial manures and guanos is a common rate; and where it is desirable to raise the condition of the soil, 6 or 8 cwt. of bone manure is added. With farm-yard manure at the rate of 15 yards per acre spread in the drills, one-half of these quantities is considered sufficient. Heavy applications of farmyard manure are not recommended, experience showing that larger crops are produced on less dung and a mixture of guano or bones. In some parts of Wigtownshire the farm-yard manure is reserved for the succeeding wheat crop.

The sowing of Swedes commences from the first week in May to the middle of the month, and is continued until the first week in June, after which the sowing of the yellow turnips is proceeded with. The thinning is performed by the hoe or the hand; by the latter mode the plants are left at a more uniform distance than with the hoe, but the hoe stirs the land better, and rids it of weeds.

The climate of Galloway is, in general, favourable for the cultivation of the green crop. On some favoured spots near the sea shore very heavy crops are raised, occasionally ranging from 40 to 50 tons per imperial acre; but 30 tons is considered a good yield, while on land that has been long under crop 20 tons is a fair average.

Swedes grown on artificial manures and bones keep better in the ground in spring than those manured with dung, so that it is found desirable to secure these against sudden frosts in the inland districts. A variety of opinion exists as to the best mode of storing turnips. In the interior, where the frosts are severe, this operation commences in November. The common way of doing is to place the turnips in narrow pits of 6 or 8 loads each in the field for sheep feeding, covered with straw and as much earth as will turn a moderate frost, which must be removed early in spring. Those not required for sheep are carted to the homestead and secured there. Where game is plentiful, storing is absolutely necessary, whatever the character of the season may be, and that portion of the green crop that cannot be got covered in pits is generally covered up with the plough in the fields; if properly done in this way, the roots keep fresh until spring.

The extent of land under mangold in 1871 was 35 acres in Kirkcudbright, and 210 acres in Wigtownshire. With the exception of Ayr, the latter county has the largest acreage of this useful root of any county in Scotland. Five and twenty years ago little or no mangold was grown; the cultivation of it is now gradually increasing. It cannot be said that the climate is very favourable for the growth of the mangold, yet occasionally good crops are grown on suitable soils when well manured. It agrees with being long in the ground, and is sown before the end of April. Deep strong loam is selected for the cultivation of it; one-third more of manure being required than for Swedes. As it is easily damaged by frost, it requires to be lifted by the end of October. The pits are made about 6 feet wide at the base, thatched with straw for a few days to allow any moisture to escape, and afterwards covered with sufficient earth to resist hard frost. It will keep until the following summer if pitted dry, and is valuable in May and June for feeding cattle, for which it is chiefly used.

Potatoes occupy 5735 acres in the two counties. They have been since 1845 a very precarious crop in this moist climate; the quantity cultivated is mostly required for local wants. A few are exported, and some preserved at a manufactory near Wigtown. The largest breadths are grown on reclaimed moss, where they thrive well, and are comparatively free. from disease. The produce of the mossland is in demand for seed.

Few carrots being cultivated, they scarcely demand more than a passing notice.

11. Galloway Cattle.

The Blue Book returns for 1871 gives the number of cattle of all kinds in Kirkcudbright at 37,937, and in Wigtownshire 39,111, making in all 77,048. These consist of different breeds— Galloway, Ayrshire, Highlanders, and crosses. There are no shorthorn stocks in the district; but bulls of that breed are imported from other places for the purpose of rearing crosses with the Galloway or Ayrshire cow, the former producing fine animals, coining early to maturity.

The Galloway cattle, though much fallen off in point of numbers, have long occupied an important place in the rural economy of the south of Scotland. Possessed of a hardy constitution, and covered with a profusion of long hair, they were well adapted to stand the rigour of a mountainous climate, before shelter was furnished for them in modern farm buildings. Reared originally for the most part on the higher and unenclosed grounds, in the northern portions of Galloway, they were taken down to the cultivated ground, where they were kept until they were four and sometimes five years of age, and then sent south to the English markets. Sir David Dunbar, just before his death in 1682, formed all the low lands, called at that time the Baldoon lands, into an immense park for the rearing and fattening of black cattle for the English market. This park contained above 1800 acres, and would keep 1900 head of cattle; it was kept in grass for the greater part of a century. It is said to have been one of the finest sights of the times to be present at the gathering of these cattle into droves, previous to their departure for the south. Their natural wildness made this no easy task, and the assistance of all the neighbours far and near had to be obtained. Frequently, however, when just on the eve of starting, the whole herd would suddenly set off, and, in spite of all the help that could be mustered, regained their pastures. There is a breed of the Galloways among the Minnigaff hills that still to a certain extent retains this wildness, so much so, that the appearance of a stranger’s head over the summit of the hill is the signal for a general dispersion. Modern treatment has in a great measure deprived the black cattle of their natural timidity, and with regular housing and feeding they have become quiet and docile.

The principal rearing ground for the Galloways in Wigtownshire is on both sides of the waters of Bladnoch and Luce, where large quantities of meadow hay are cut, upon which the black cattle are wintered, for the most part out of doors, on any rough and sheltered moor. In the parish of Mochrum, containing 25,600 acres, there are many good stocks of Galloways, which are either reared on the ground or bought in, there being no dairy of importance in the parish. Further inland, in the upland districts, there are a few Galloway cows kept on every farm where the elevation is too great for the Ayrshire stock.

In Kirkcudbright the black cattle some years ago reigned supreme among the grassy glades and higher lands in Minnigaff, the black-faced sheep occupying the tops of the hills. Lately, however, the number of cattle kept has been on the decrease, sheep stock having been substituted. For instance, on the farm of Polgown five or six mowers used to be employed, now one or two men can cut all the hay required. In the lower districts the Ayrshire cow occupies the place where the Galloways at one time predominated, and on the land up the water of Dee, where fine cattle were wintered not long ago, little hay is now made; but the entire pasture is given up to sheep. Lord Selkirk keeps a stock of twenty Galloway cows, and there are several breeders in that locality whose names appear on the prize lists, among whom may be mentioned Messrs Shennan, Balig; Thomson, Blaiket; Cunningham, Tarbreoch; Biggar, Chapelton. These gentlemen, for the most part, breed bulls for sale, and keep comparatively little store stock.

Regrets are expressed on every side concerning the gradual lessening of the numbers of the Galloway stock, and a variety of opinions advanced as to the cause. The chief reason given by the best informed on this subject is, that the Ayrshire cows yield a larger return, and that the Galloways require to be kept until they are aged, and do not agree with the forcing system so much in vogue now in feeding cattle at two years old. As an illustration of what Galloways can be brought to at that age by good management we will cite one example of a successful breeder in Wigtownshire — Mr M’Whinnie, Airyholland—the details of which will also serve to show the general principles upon which the breed is reared. This farm occupies rather an exposed situation facing Luce Bay, by which it is bounded on the south-west, and gradually rises from the sea until it reaches an elevation of 400 feet. The surface is much broken up by immense boulders of blue stone, which gives the country in that locality a very rough appearance, and makes the cultivation of the soil both difficult and expensive.

A stock of twelve cows is kept, which all calve in February. The calves are suckled, and get the half of their mother’s milk, or, as the custom is, the milker takes two teats, while the calf gets the other two. As soon as they can eat the calves get good hay or oat straw, and turnips cut small. They suck on to October, or as soon as a young grass field is cleared, getting half a pound of cake daily all summer, which is increased to one pound when they are weaned. When the sown grass begins to fail they get turnips on the old grass, which, with the cake, are continued all the winter, the quantity of turnips allowed being 1 cwt. each. The calves are wintered out, and are never in a house after they leave their mother.

The second winter they get ryegrass hay, 1 1/2 lb. of decorticated cotton-cake, and 1 cwt. of turnips each daily; they are foddered regularly once a day in the morning. They are all sold at two years old, and with the treatment we have been describing make splendid animals at the age. In the spring of 1873 two of these were sold to Mr Cunningham, Tarbreoch, for £55; the remainder of the lot brought £24, l0s. each.   (Mr M’Whinnie’s herd of two-year olds, which sold at this price, consisted of twenty he having bought in his own calves, eight stirks, which received the same treatment as his own calves.)

In general, black cattle do not receive cake when stores, but are wintered chiefly on hay or oat straw. They are disposed of in early spring to purchasers for the English pastures; Mr Burrel of London, and Messrs Welsh, Newton-Stewart, being extensive buyers. Large numbers are also purchased by local graziers for summering" on the better class of soils, and these are either fattened off on the old grass pastures with the assistance of cake, or reserved for stall feeding during the ensuing winter.

12. The Rearing, Wintering, and Grazing of Cattle.

Besides the Galloway cattle bred in the counties, the particulars of which have already been adverted to, a considerable number of crosses are reared between the Ayrshire cow and the shorthorn bull, which are most commonly kept on the farms where they have been brought up, and made fat for the butcher at two and sometimes three years old. When calves they are not allowed to suck, but are fed from pails, and for the first two or three days always with their mother’s milk. They get three chopins or English quarts at a time, twice a day, till they are three weeks old, after which their allowance is gradually increased, and linseed meal dissolved in water, or oatmeal porridge well boiled, added. By the time the calves are four weeks old they have learned to eat turnips cut small with the sheep-cutter, and if given fresh and clean will consume a considerable quantity. Hay and linseed, cake are placed before them in small quantities and they soon come to eat half a pound of the latter. The milk is continued throughout the summer, until each calf has taken about £3 worth; but frequently the oldest are weaned before they have incurred so much expense, so that the younger ones may be brought well forward before winter. In some places three calves are reared from one cow, and when that is the case, the allowance of milk is necessarily limited, linseed meal being the chief substitute.

The calves are generally weaned sooner than the Galloways, namely, about August, or as soon as the hay stubble is cleared, after which a liberal allowance of linseed-cake is given, say 1 lb. a day for each. English cotton-cake decorticated is found to answer the purpose nearly as well as linseed-cake, and is much cheaper.

Mr Hughan, Cults, Sorby, combines butter-making with the rearing of calves, which, at the present price of stock, appears to be a profitable combination. We give an outline of the whole management:

From forty to forty-four Ayrshire cows are kept, which are crossed with a shorthorn bull. The milk, as it is drawn from the cows, is strained into zinc coolers, 5 1/2 feet long by 33 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, where it remains until it is sufficiently cool, when it is drawn from the coolers, and put into a barrel large enough to hold the whole evening’s or morning’s milk. It remains in the barrel from 36 to 48 hours until it is thoroughly thickened, or as it is locally termed "lappered." The thickened milk is then put into a churn which is driven by a horse, and after getting two or three turns to mix the cream and milk, one-eighth part of water is added, at a temperature of 80o or 90o, according to the heat of the weather. By this means the milk in the churn is raised to 60o or 68o. In frosty weather the water is often heated to 100o. The churning generally lasts about ; if it is done more quickly the butter is soft. When the cows are in full milk, churning takes place twice a day, and three or four times on Saturday. The butter is washed in cold spring water, after which it is salted at the rate of 1 lb. of salt to 24 lbs. of butter, packed solidly in barrels, holding from 50 to 100 lbs., and forwarded to the Glasgow market.

The calves are all kept, and fed from the pail. The first week they each get one quart of new milk twice a day. The second week, two quarts twice a day. The third week, butter milk is gradually added to the new milk, so that by the end of that week, they are getting one quart of butter milk added to two quarts of new milk twice a day. The fourth week the new milk is gradually reduced, and butter milk added, so that by the end of that week the calves are wholly fed on butter milk, getting three quarts twice a day, brought to the heat of new milk, by adding a little hot "brochan" made from oat or linseed meal. As soon as they show a desire to eat, they get a little rye-grass, hay, or oat straw, with a small quantity of pulped turnips, until they are put to the grass. The same quantity of butter milk and "brochan" is continued, till they are from five to six months old, when they are gradually weaned, and put to grass in a sown outfield. During the winter they are all tied to stakes in the calf-house, and kept in a growing condition, their food being straw and turnips with a little oil-cake. ‘As soon as there is sufficient grass in April, they are turned out amid grazed until October, when they are tied up, and fed on straw and turnips sliced till February. After that they get an allowance of artificial food increased gradually during the spring from 2 to 6 lbs. per head daily. They are kept until the middle or end of May, when they are sold fat.

Crosses are seldom wintered out of doors, but require to be housed early in the season to prevent loss of condition, which is apt to ensue in October, especially in wet weather. The skin and hair of a shorthorn or cross bullock being considerably thinner than those of a Galloway, the former suffers much from exposure where the latter will thrive. In the summer and autumn numbers of Irish young cattle are brought into the counties to be wintered or stall fed, but it is found by experience that these cattle take more kindly to the stake after having been some time in the district.

In wintering young cattle it is of great importance to have proper conveniences for classifying the stock, thereby separating the weak from the strong. In the construction of the most of’ the Galloway steadings sufficient attention has not been paid to this, it being not uncommon to see 40 or 50 cattle together in one large open court yard. A good many of this number cannot thrive; the strong push the weak about, and, instead of’ making improvement, many of the smaller class lose condition, and frequently die during rough. weather in spring. Some prefer keeping the young cattle tied all winter, so that each may get its own allowance of food without being disturbed. This system, no doubt, has its advantages, but in general it will be found that store cattle will do as well during winter in small numbers together in open courts, where they can be sheltered without being kept too warm, and, if properly classified, and with plenty of room, there will be few, if any, kept at the outside.

Young stock in the early winter thrive well on the green turnip tops; these are scattered over the field where the cattle are allowed to go out during the day; and, when put into the shed at night, they eat greedily of the oat straw, which forms the great bulk of their food during winter. As spring advances the decayed turnips are selected, and given to the store cattle, and the sound tubers left to the feeding stock. A cart-load of the unsound turnips will keep a score of young beasts in growing condition. Where turnips are not available, undecorticated cotton-cake is a good deal used, and is coming more into favour. Calves, however, do not agree with it, the particles of cotton adhering to the cake are said to produce obstruction in the bowels, and in some cases to cause death.

At one time little attention was given to the progress wintering cattle made, the question was more the numbers that could be brought through than their improvement, and consequent increase in value. With cattle, at their present price, the stock-master must not be satisfied with seeing his "winters" remaining stationary, but should aim at steady progress all winter, which can be attained, where turnips are not to be had, by the use of artificial food. The straw-cutter is a valuable acquisition in the wintering of young cattle, but the merits of this machine have been long in being admitted in Galloway. With the straw cut into half-inch lengths, and mixed with pulped turnips into which any kind of cheap meal may be introduced, an excellent compound is produced, upon which the cattle thrive well. When turnips run short in spring, the cut straw is steamed, or boiled along with ground Indian corn, at the rate of two pounds for each animal per day. A few handfuls of bean meal sprinkled over this mixture cause the cattle to eat it with avidity. In this manner a great deal of valuable straw can be utilised for winter feeding, much of which would otherwise be trodden under foot and wasted.

Wintering cattle are generally kept in the courts until there is a good appearance of grass in the fields, and the weather is somewhat warm; those intended for feeding next winter being put to the best pastures, so that they may be well forward in condition by the beginning of October, about which time they are tied up in the feeding byres.

13. Cattle Feeding.

The system of rearing and feeding cattle for the fat market has long been an important department in Galloway farming. The extension of turnip husbandry with the opening up of the English markets, and the use of auxiliary feeding stuffs, have given this system such an impetus that it may be said to be now the chief spoke in the wheel of the arable farmer who does not follow the dairy system.

The price of beef fluctuates much more than that of dairy produce, and if the feeder finds himself obliged, from want of "keeping," to bring his fat stock to market at a certain time, which may occur during the prevalence of low prices, the result may be a serious depreciation in his profits. It is no unusual occurrence for the price of a fat bullock to vary as much as £2 or £3 in the course of a season; and in the spring and summer of 1873, there has been a difference of 2s. per imperial stone in the price of beef, making £6 in a steer of 60 stones weight. No doubt this uncertainty has induced many to abandon the feeding, and to adopt the dairy system, the produce of which is less subject to violent fluctuations in price, and is more of a steady-going character. Notwithstanding these changes, the importance of the feeding system may he gathered from the following statement.

During the year ending 30th of June 1873, according to returns furnished by the Caledonian and Glasgow and South-Western Railway Companies, and also by the Galloway Steam Navigation Company, it appears that the total number of cattle sent out of the counties by these conveyances was 14,569.  (This number does not include the Irish cattle landed at Stranraer by steamer, and sent on by railway.)  Of this number it is computed that about 8000 were sent to the fat market; the remainder being stores which had been wintered, or reared in Kirkcudbright and Wigtown. The estimated value of the fat cattle we may place at £23 each, which gives a total of £184,000.

The first object of the successful feeder is to obtain suitable and well-bred animals for the purpose, whatever breed they are. Well bred cattle will pay for a liberal outlay for extra food, while mongrel and ill-shapen beasts will not. The different markets in the counties afford opportunities for obtaining good stock for winter feeding, but the lots exposed for sale are generally mixed by dealers, and care in selection is necessary before the herd can be made up. The October markets at Newton-Stewart, Castle-Douglas, and Dumfries are the most important for buying in feeding cattle, at which there is commonly a large show of first-class animals, chiefly Galloways. At these markets are shown cattle that have been " summered" in the higher districts, which are bought for stall-feeding in the arable farms, their places being filled up by a smaller class suitable for "wintering."

The usual time for tying up feeding cattle is from the 1st of October to the 1st of November. If they are intended to be ready by Christmas, they are put in sooner, as it is found bad policy to allow cattle in good condition to remain too late on the field in autumn, exposed to the cold nights and washing rains which prevail at that season. The yellow turnips are commenced with first, of which a moderate-sized bullock will eat 2 cwt. a day. The usual hours of feeding are, turnips at six in the morning with straw afterwards, turnips again at nine or ten and at two afternoon, and finally turnips and straw at five, when they are done up for the night. At eight the cattleman comes to see that all is right, and to add some fresh fodder, and trim up the bedding, but this visit is only during the continuance of the long winter nights. Some years ago the older and well-bred Galloways used to be fed fat without much extra feeding,—turnips and straw only being used. Of late, probably, owing to the frequent repetition of the green crop, turnips are not so nutritive as formerly, so that considerable expense is now incurred for purchased food, varying from £2 to £3 each bullock. Where aged cattle are fed, it is not usual to commence with the extras sooner than six weeks or two months before they are sent to market, though in some cases grain is given to the cattle shortly after being tied up, which not only shows speedily in the improvement of the beeves, but also effects a saving in turnips.

Bruised oats, owing to the deficient quality and low price, were used extensively in the winter of 1872—73 for feeding. These are found to suit best in the early part of the season when the turnips are full of sap, but from the heating nature of this food they are not continued alone during the spring, linseed cake being used along with them. The grain and cake are placed before the cattle about midday in wooden boxes made for the purpose, but where the fire-clay troughs are used the boxes are dispensed with, the rounded bottoms of the former rendering them easily cleaned out, which they ought to be always once a day; for, as in the dairy, cleanliness is of the first importance, so it is in the feeding of cattle, where anything that would produce heavy smells about the troughs is carefully guarded against, and everything around kept fresh and sweet.

Where young growing crosses are fed, the treatment they receive is on a more liberal scale. This, however, often depends in some measure on the supply and quality of the turnips. With careful feeding on good, clean, and sound roots, along with fresh, well-got oat straw, it is surprising how much progress well-bred cross or shorthorn bullocks will make. Still it is considered by many that, on the whole, the liberal system pays best; and where this is adopted, the cattle begin to get grain by Christmas, some even commencing as ‘soon as they go into the house. This is continued through the winter months, and by March the oats are discontinued and bean-meal substituted, with the addition of 2 lbs. of linseed cake and 2 lbs. of cotton cake daily for each animal. Mr Rodger, Penkiln, Sorby, who feeds about 100 cattle every season, allows each from 8 to 10 lbs. a day of different kinds of cake and Indian corn meal. The meal is steeped in boiling water over night, and next morning mixed with chaffed straw, among which it remains for some hours before being given to the cattle. By this system a great saving of turnips is effected, and the cattle make more progress than when consuming double the quantity of roots. Mr M’Monnies, Sorby Farm, also uses the straw-cutter for chaffing the hay or straw for feeding cattle. The cut straw is made damp, so that the bean meal adheres to it, and in this way there is no loss. The system followed at North Balfern differs in detail from either of the foregoing, and was adopted several years ago with a view of economising turnips, the production of which have now become so costly. The herd fed annually, in number about 80, consists of crosses or shorthorns. The extra feeding they got was commenced as soon as they were tied up in November 1872. It was 2 lbs. of Indian meal, 2 lbs. of damaged wheat ground, and 2 lbs. undecorticated cotton cake daily for each. The meal was boiled the day before being used with chaffed oat straw cut in half-inch lengths, to which was added a few sliced turnips, each animal being allowed 5 lbs. of cut straw. When about to be used, the mixture is put into the feeding-waggon, and the meal, which gets into lumps after being boiled, thoroughly broken up and mixed with the cut straw; the damaged wheat was also added at the same time. The cattle were fed with about half a cwt. of turnips in the morning, the boiled food between ten and eleven, the cotton cake at’ one, and half a cwt. of turnips at night. (The cattle fed on this farm being two years old, the turnips are sliced by one of Samuelson’s cylinder slicers driven by water power.)  As the spring advanced bean meal was substituted for the wheat, and 2 lbs. of linseed cake added to the cotton cake. The expense of this extra feeding was 2s. 9d. a week, exclusive of coals, which cost is. 6d. for the season for each animal. These cattle made very satisfactory progress. It is worthy of remark, that crosses or shorthorns take better with the boiled food than the Galloways.

Where mangold and hay are grown, the use of them is reserved until the spring, and they are always given to the feeding stock in conjunction. These roots, when they have been carefully stored, retain their feeding properties long after the Swede is useless for the purpose — indeed, the quality of the mangold is rather improved by being kept until May. It is a valuable feeding root where young cattle have to be kept late in the spring; it is also found of the greatest service in maturing aged cattle where the quality of the Swedes is deficient.

The best markets, and those most easy of access to cattle fed in Galloway, are Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. For large Galloway cattle of fine quality London is said to send the best returns; whereas for rough half-fed beasts Edinburgh or Glasgow is the best market. Liverpool, however, takes the great bulk of the fat cattle which are sent by sea and rail. The marketing expenses of a bullock worth £30 are about 23s., which in a large lot of cattle amounts to a heavy charge.

14. Sheep and Sheep Breeding.

The total number of sheep of all kinds in the two counties, according to the Government returns in 1871, was 493,557, of which 366,647 were in Kirkcudbright, and 126,810 were in Wigtown.

The largest proportion of these consists of the blackfaced or mountain breed—which is treated of separately—the remainder is made up of Cheviot ewes and half-bred lambs, half-bred ewes and lambs, crosses and other breeds, with the year-old sheep of their respective kinds.

Of late years the arable farmers on the lower parts of Galloway have been going more into sheep breeding than formerly. The rearing of lambs has been profitable for two years past, and, owing to the high price of labour, more land has been allowed to remain in grass, which generally has been devoted to this purpose. There are, however, few full stocks of breeding ewes kept. It is preferred rather to combine sheep feeding with the rearing of a few lambs on the farm; and more attention has hitherto been bestowed on the former than on the latter.

The ewes preferred are the Cheviot, procured chiefly from the Highlands, and the half-bred. The rams most in use are the Yorkshire or the Lincoln. The Cheviot ewe, it is considered, rears a stronger lamb, and as a hogget it pays better for keeping in summer than the hogget from a half-bred mother. The latter comes early to maturity in spring, and becomes fat with little extra feeding. Care is necessary in the selection of the rams for breeding with half-bred ewes—the lambs, with some sires, have a tendency to become small in the neck, which betokens a want of growth about the animal. With the Lincoln ram an excellent breed is produced, combining strength of bone with good substance and a heavy fleece.

The rams are put to the ewes about the 20th of October, and for a short time previous to this the ewes are put to fresh grass, so that they may be in a thriving state when they receive the ram. If this is attended to, the number of lambs is thereby increased. Ewes are not often wintered solely on turnips. When the pastures are bare, cotton cake or a few cut turnips on the grass are given. These are increased in quantity some time before the lambing season comes on.

Lambing commences from the middle of March to the end of the month. The lambs are castrated when the weather is moist and cool. They run with their mothers until the 1st of August, when they are weaned and put into a field of young grass, and kept in a growing state by changing their pasture frequently until they are put on the turnips.

Some crosses between the blackfaced ewe and Yorkshire ram are reared on the low grounds; they are frequently sold as lambs in the fat market. A number of cross lambs are reared on the higher ground at the foot of the hills. They are disposed of at the fairs in autumn, and are wintered on turnips; but the greater part of them require to be kept over during the second winter on turnips, when they make good sheep early in the spring of the following year.

An attempt has been made to introduce the Shropshire Downs ram to cross with the half-bred or Cheviot ewe, but the produce both of mutton and wool has proved deficient. There are few of them kept now.

15. Sheep Feeding.

There is, perhaps, no department of agriculture in which more improvement has been made during the last twenty-five years than in sheep feeding. Prior to 1848, before the introduction of the turnip-cutter, it was never attempted to make year-old sheep fat on turnips. The loss of their teeth from eating the hard Swedes was greatly against the progress of the hoggets, even when they came to the grass, so that it was well on in summer before they could be got fit for the butcher. Indeed, at the date referred to, comparatively few lambs were fed on turnips, partly from the difficulty of getting them disposed of in spring, and also from the small returns left, owing to the backward condition of the stock before the grass came.

The number of sheep embraced in the Government returns for Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, on the 25th of June, includes only a small proportion of those that are fed in winter on turnips. Large droves of Highland wethers, purchased at Inverness or Falkirk trysts, find their way in the autumn down to their feeding ground on the turnip break. These are all fattened and disposed of early in the spring of the following year. Great quantities of lambs, purchased at Lockerbie fairs and throughout Dumfriesshire or Ayrshire, are brought into Galloway to be wintered on turnips; they also are in a great measure disposed of in spring or early summer, and are not included in the returns for the counties. It is to the consideration of the management of these that we now wish to direct attention.

Highland wethers purchased at Inverness generally arrive at their winter quarters about the end of September. The time occupied on the journey from Sutherland to Galloway is about thirty-five days. From Falkirk the time occupied is from twelve to fourteen days. Railway communication, of course, shortens the journey from either of these places; but the expenses incurred by the trains are fully as heavy as when the sheep walked all the way. Several cargoes are likewise imported by sea every year from different parts of the Highlands. After coming off’ their long journey, considerable care is requisite to guard against scab. Formerly the sheep were poured with a mixture of tobacco juice, soft soap, and spirits of tar; now scarcely such a thing is thought of, dipping universally taking the place of pouring. The wethers on arriving are put on stubbles, or any other rather bare pasture, for a few days, and gradually advanced to more succulent herbage. By the 1st of November they are enclosed on the common turnips; nets and stobs or stakes are used for that purpose. The usual way of feeding wethers on turnips is to remove one half of the crop, or whatever proportion is required at the homestead. This proportion is taken out at regular intervals, so that the manure of the sheep may be equally distributed ‘over the field. The stock also thrives better in this manner than when they have to eat the whole crop on the ground. They are enclosed in lots of twelve or fourteen scores together, which one man can easily attend to; and it is of the utmost importance that they should not be confined on too small a space, but have room to move freely about. The system is now being introduced of using the turnip-cutter for wethers as well as for lambs. This, of course, prevents waste, which to a certain extent is unavoidable in wet weather. Grain and linseed cake are also supplied in boxes made for the purpose—about half a pound a day of each of these being considered a liberal allowance for each sheep. Indian corn being moderate in price in the winter of 1872—3, the writer used it exclusively as extra feeding for a lot of once-clipped hoggs. Each of them consumed about 2 lbs. a day, which, at the price paid for it, amounted to l0d. a week. They were fed on a grass field, and were allowed, besides the corn, half a ton of turnips, with the tops on, to every four score every alternate day. They made great progress, and increased in value about 15s. each in nine weeks.

The first shipments for the fat markets generally commence in January, according as the prices rate or the appearance of provision indicates. They are sent to Liverpool by steamer or rail, and also to Glasgow, and the cost for carriage, commission, and other expenses is 2s. 6d. a head; by rail it is considerably more. By the middle of April the wethers have all been disposed of, and by that time the first of the hoggs are ready for being sent to the market without the wool.

Lambs are also extensively fed during the winter. Large numbers are bought for the dairy farms to eat the surplus turnips, and for the most part are sold early in spring in the wool without eating any grass, which is reserved for the dairy stock. Besides those obtained from Lockerbie fairs and the neighbouring counties, a considerable number are reared on the farms, where they are fed and disposed of early in spring in the wool, or where "keeping" can be obtained for them for longer period without their fleeces. Like their seniors from the north, lambs which have stood the market, and have been travelled front a distance, are all dipped as soon as possible after arriving at their destination. Biggs’ dip is extensively used for both sheep and lambs, while some prefer M’Dougal’s. The former gives the sheep a clean and washed appearance, while the latter imparts a dark colour to the fleece, and is supposed by some to render the wool partly waterproof. The lambs on coming home from market are put on to a fresh, clean pasture, and great care is required to keep them in a thriving state on the grass during and after harvest, which is considered a most important period for the future growth and well-being of the stock. For this purpose young grass and seeds, and the aftermath of hay or clover, are preferred. Before the pasture becomes exhausted, the lambs are removed to their winter quarters on turnips, the softer varieties being used for learning them to eat. They thrive well on the common or yellow kinds without cutting until January, though the practice is gaining ground of cutting these even to avoid waste.

A great advance has been made lately in the method of feeding lambs, though occasionally we see a want of care in supplying the turnips in small quantities at a time, and just as the sheep can eat them, which we have no hesitation in saying will deprive the stock-master of a large part of his profit. A good deal of experience and care is required in the shepherd who has charge of a flock of lambs on turnips during winter; but by many it is still the custom to employ an inexperienced boy as shepherd, a course to which may be applied the proverb, "Penny wise and pound foolish." The most successful feeders are very careful, in the first place, to have the turnips put together in the heaps on a dry day, when little earth is adhering to them. The heaps are then carefully covered with straw and a little earth, to prevent the changes in the weather from affecting them. By these means the sheep are always supplied with clean and wholesome food, so that they may he kept constantly in a thriving condition.

Extra feeding is now given to lambs more generally than was the case four or five years ago, and more particularly during the winter of 1872—73. Various compounds are in use, but the basis of them all is the staple produce of the province, oats. Some feeders give oats, and oats alone, to the extent of 1 lb. per day, given twice a day. Others use a proportion of linseed-cake with the oats. A cheap amid palatable mixture consists of the following Oats and cotton-cake, 1/4 lb. of each, with 1/2 lb. of Indian corn to each sheep. In the month of February the Indian corn was reduced to lb., and the same weight of linseed-cake substituted. This was used with success by the writer last winter, and the cost was about 4 1/2d. a week per head. There is a danger in giving sheep too much dry feeding; the ruminating functions are apt to become deranged, and loss of appetite ensue. When this is the case, the constituent parts of the extra food should be changed, and linseed-cake or locust beans in part substituted. An excellent compound is in use in the Rhinns district, which is well reported of, not only for its fat-forming properties, but also as keeping the sheep in good healthy condition, and effecting a considerable saving in turnips. The mixture consists of crushed Egyptian beans, bruised oats, chaffed sheaf corn or hay, well turned together, and the whole wetted with dissolved molasses. The mass is then thoroughly mixed with about an equal bulk of draff, and allowed to remain in a heap until fermentation begins, when it is ready for use. The proportions of the different ingredients are varied at pleasure, and according as the sheep take to the mixture, of which they generally eat from 6 to 8 lbs. a day. The draff is obtained from Campbelton, and when salted keeps for a considerable time.

The best sheep-feeding land in the Stewartry is on the blue stone or gravel soils. It is a popular saying, that the granite and sandstone grind away the fat out of the sheep, whereas the blue stone lays it on. It is a fact, however, that sheep will not live on the granite soil more than a year without becoming unhealthy; the rationale of which may be, that a part of the fine and loose granite or sandstone finds its way into the sheep’s stomach along with the grass, producing "fluke" on the liver, similar to what is caused by feeding on meadows that have been flooded. The rock soils are by far the best adapted for sheep-feeding in winter, not only from the shelter the undulating and broken laud affords, but from the open and porous subsoil preventing the water from lodging on the surface. A fine tract of land of this description extends along the shore in the southern part of Wigtownshire; but being somewhat exposed to the east and south winds, the strong sea air along the coast prevents the sheep from making progress. When the wind blows continuously off the sea the wool of time sheep becomes of a bluish colour, indicating want of tone in the system; and when this is the case, a change farther inland becomes necessary. The till soils are not well adapted for winter feeding; the feet of the sheep in wet weather soon "puddle" the surface, and keep the soil wet and disagreeable.

Clipping the hoggets commences in the Stewartry about the beginning or 2d of April. Some very fine year-old sheep are sent by steamer and rail from the farms in the neighbourhood of Kirkcudbright, among which the names of Messrs Gifford, Ingleston; Phillips, Carse; Williamson, Sypland; Sproat, Borness; Currie, Southpark; and Biggar, Chapelton, stand prominent

In Wigtownshire, clipping is rather later in commencing, few lots being sold without the wool until the 1st of May. Messrs Welsh, Newton-Stewart, do a large trade in slaughtering rough hoggs for the London market, sending the carcasses by rail in a van expressly fitted up for the purpose.

Without multiplying instances, we will only adduce two examples—one from each county—of the extent to which, by careful management and liberal treatment, sheep may be developed at a year old.

The first is a lot of lambs bred in Wigtownshire from High land ewes and Leicester rams. They were clipped and sent to Liverpool in the second week of May 1873, where they were sold to average £3, 7s., and taking off expenses, left £3, 4s. 6d. per head. The wool averaged 7 1/2 lbs. per fleece, which, at 2s. the lb., gives 15s., making in all L3, 19s. 6d. for each sheep. Two out of this lot of hoggs were sold to a butcher, which weighed 103 lbs. and 101 lbs. respectively.

Mr Gifford, Ingleston, Kirkcudbright, reared a lot of lambs the same year from half-bred ewes and rams from Mr Bell Irving’s stock, the produce of which was sold in the end of April at £3, 3s. without the wool, which averaged 8 1/3 lbs., and cleared 17s. the fleece, making in all £4 for each sheep. Besides turnips during winter, these sheep were fed with oats and cake from the beginning of February, at a cost of 5s. each, the oil-cake costing 2s., and the oats 3s. Among the gentlemen whose names have been mentioned in connection with feeding, a good deal of emulation prevails as to who can turn out the best hoggs in spring, and extra feeding to the extent of from 7s. to 10s. is given. It is questionable how far this expensive feeding will pay, but it depends a good deal on the class of sheep to which it is given.

We have been thus minute in giving the details of the management of this important branch of the agriculture of the district, convinced that the proper system of sheep-feeding is only beginning to be understood, and this remark applies not only to Galloway, but to the other districts of Scotland. If we can apply the products of Egypt or prairies of America to the production of beef and mutton in this country, surely a great point has been gained by which our teeming population can be supplied with these important and costly articles of food.

The total number of sheep exported from the two counties by sea and rail during the year ending 30th of June 1873, was 145,492.

16. The Moorland, and the Mountain Sheep.

As formerly noticed, there are 620,040 acres of mountain or moorland in the two counties. It occupies the northern and inland part of Galloway; the land along the sea-coast being for the most part all arable. A portion of it is of a poor, barren description, so much so that, according to a local saying, "it would not graze a peesweep (Lapwing) to the acre." The greater part of it, ‘however, is very suitable for sheep and cattle grazing, especially towards the north and north-east of Kirkcudbright, where the hills in the parish of Carsphairn are green to the top. There is also a large tract of fine grazing land north from Glencaird to the march of Ayrshire, in the parish of Minnigaff.

The geological formation of the greater part of the moorland in Kirkcudbright is the Lower Silurian, consisting of the greywacke rocks, which in many places occupy the surface to the exclusion of even the heather; large boulders also being strewed plentifully over the high ground. Extensive tracts of the primary rocks also occur, occupying about one-sixth part of the whole county. The most northerly group, which embraces the Merrick range of hills, commences at the head of Loch Doon, on the Ayrshire boundary, and reaches in a southerly direction beyond Loch Dee. The middle group reaches from the river Ken, in south-westerly direction, to Wigtown Bay. The third and most easterly group includes the Criffel range, commencing near the river Nith, in the parish of New Abbey, running in a south-west direction across the parishes of Kirkgunzeon, Urr, and Colvend, down to the sea shore. These granitic ranges are for the most part very barren, partly on account of the surface being half occupied either by the rocks or by boulders; but even where herbage appears, there is a something in connection with the formation that prevents sheep from thriving as the appearance of the pasture gives promise.

The moorland part of Wigtownshire lies entirely on the Lower Silurian formation, no granite rocks being found in any part of it. It is for the most part comparatively level, but scarcely of a less barren character than the Kirkcudbright mountains. Extensive mosses of worthless flow occupy the hollows for miles at a stretch, terminating generally in dreary morasses, often fatal to the animals that seek sustenance on their treacherous surface. Professor Geikie, writing on this subject, says—" Between the foot of the Merrick range and the Bay of Luce the ground is one wild expanse of moor, roughened with thousands of heaps of glacial detritus, and dotted with scores of lakes enclosed among these rubbish mounds." (Scenery of Scotland, p. 261,)

There are two systems of sheep farming carried on, the one is where what is called "a ewe stock" is kept; the other, where a "running stock" is kept. Under the former system, the top wedder and second ewe lambs are sold each year in the end of summer. Under the latter, the wether lambs are all kept and disposed of at three years old, and in a few instances at two years old, the top ewe lambs being kept to fill up the place of the draft ewes; the small lambs of both sorts are, however, sold. A "ewe stock" requires finer and earlier land than "a running stock," and where the land is suitable, will pay more by 30s. a score than the "running stock."

The entry to the hill farms is generally at Whitsunday. The outgoing tenant is bound to sell the whole of the sheep stock to the incoming tenant at valuation by two men mutually chosen, who, if necessary, appoint an oversman. In a ewe stock there are, ewes and lambs—eild ewes, ewe hoggs, and the shots of each lot. In a running stock there are, ewes and lambs—eild ewes, three-year-old wethers, dinmonts or two-shear sheep, ewe and wether hoggs, with the shots of each lot. On the day of delivery these are valued separately, and handed over to the incoming tenant, many of the neighbours and strangers gathering in to hear the prices of the different lots.

The time for castration and marking in a running stock is from the 25th of May to the 1st of June; for a ewe stock, about the 20th June, when the eild sheep are likewise clipped. The reason for this difference in the time of castration is in order that the lambs may get strong in the horn, which improves their appearance for selling.

Running stocks are generally all clipped at one time, about the 8th of July; the milk portion of the ewe stocks about the middle of the month. As it is of importance to get clipping finished as soon as possible on the individual farms, the neighbours generally gather in to assist each other in this operation, ten or twelve sometimes mustering at one time. An active hand can clip five or six scores a day. In entering a bill farm, the wool is the first thing that can be disposed of; fairs for the sale of it are held at Newton Stewart in the end of June, and at Dalry, Gatehouse, and Sanquhar on subsequent weeks in July. The wool of a running stock brings a higher price than that of a ewe stock, the difference being probably is. per stone of 24 lbs.

The lambs are taken off the ewes about the 25th of August, when, in a ewe stock, the wether lambs and the second ewe lambs are all parted with, and in a few days, when weaned, the top ewe lambs are put to the hill to be harvested. These are never disposed of, but are reserved to keep up the breeding stock on the farm. In a running stock the small lambs of both sorts are disposed of, and the tops treated in a similar manner.

The three-years-old wethers. in the running stocks are ready for selling by the middle of. September. They are sent by rail and steamer to the Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Liverpool markets; some lots going in the Belfast direction. The best class of these wethers, with present prices (1873), realises from 45s. to 52s. each. The eild ewes are sold about the end of September, the draft ewes in October.

Five and twenty years ago it was the general custom to smear all the sheep intended to be wintered on the hill. This practice is now quite out of use. It is found that the sheep are much lighter for climbing their rocky paths without the weight of butter and tar in their fleeces they had to carry when they were smeared; and besides, the weight of these hanging in the wool caused the fleece to open on the back, thereby exposing the animal to the rigours of the mountain climate. Smearing also reduced the condition of the sheep, and had a tendency to loosen the wool; it failed also to protect the sheep against scab. Dipping has now universally taken the place of smearing.

A few rams are bought in on each farm every year. These are generally purchased in lambs from the breeders, the most suitable selected out of them, after keeping them eight or ten months) and the remainder disposed of. In winter they require a few turnips, or a little cake and oats, as it is difficult to obtain grass good enough to suit them. They are put to the ewes from the 12th to the 22d of November.

The hoggs or young sheep are all wintered on the low lands, and should be sent down about the middle of October. On some high stormy land the whole of the stock has to be taken away for a time. The cost of wintering, from October to April, is from 6s. to 8s. a head. This wintering is becoming more difficult to be had every year; it is obtained chiefly on the lower parts of Kirkcowan and Ayrshire. The ewe hogs are generally wintered on grass, and the wether hoggs on turnips, wherever they can be got.

The first bite the sheep get on the uplands in the spring is the ‘‘ moss crops " or ‘‘ "draw bent." These, as the name indicates, grow on the soft and mossy grounds, and they afford an excellent and welcome change from the dry heather of the hard pasture land on which the old sheep have been feeding all winter.

By the middle of April the lambing season comes on. This is always an anxious and busy time for the hill shepherd; and it requires all his energy, skill, and forethought to be put forth for the preservation of the weak lambs. Indeed, it is upon these qualities in the shepherd, or the want of them, as well as the kind of weather at the time of lambing, that a good or bad crop of lambs depends.

The diseases to which the mountain sheep are subject are numerous, and some of them very fatal, of which "braxy," or inflammation of the bowels, is the most deadly. Some localities are more liable to it than others; but whether this arises from the position of these farms, or the pasture upon them, has never been very satisfactorily answered. On a farm in Kirkcudbright in one year there died, out of a stock of 800 hoggs, about 400, or one-half of the whole. This, of course, is an exceptional case; but the general rate of mortality among hill stock is high, say from 10 to 15 per cent. Various theories have been advanced to account for such excessive mortality as the case cited. Some blame the pasture, some the particular exposure of the land, while others affirm that sheep do not thrive when cattle are depastured among them; the supposition is that the droppings from the cattle cause a fresh growth early in the spring, which, being too succulent for the hungry sheep, causes inflammation in the bowels. "Sturdy" is another very prevalent disease, but it is sometimes cured under skilful treatment. "Trembling" is also a fatal disease, but it is said to he principally confined to warm, dry, east-lying land. If sheep are brought from cold, north-lying land, they are in danger of dying out, unless speedily removed. "Vincus," or "vinquish "—probably a corruption of vanquish—is a wasting away, accompanied with water in the stomach. This disease is chiefly confined to the granite land, and is readily cured, when observed in time, by an entire change of pasture. The "cretuch" is an affection of the joints, whereby the sheep loses the power of its limbs. Those affected by this disease are found on the tops of the hills, the poor feeding and constant exposure there being the supposed cause of it. A change to the lower and better pasture generally effects a cure, but the sheep affected require to be watched, as they have a singular tendency to return to the old feeding ground on the top of the hill.

17. Dairies and Dairy Management.

The introduction of dairy or Ayrshire stock into Galloway dates back more than sixty-five years ago. Writing in 1810, the Rev. Mr Smith of Borgue states that several dairies on a large scale, besides some smaller ones, had been established in Wigtownshire by farmers from Ayrshire; and the same writer gives an instance of a dairy of 60 cows in the Rhinns district in 1808. From that date the Ayrshire cows have been coming gradually into favour in Galloway, taking the place of the native breed, which they threaten sooner or later to thrust out entirely

Owing to the high price of beef, a reaction has set in favour of rearing a portion of young stock, combining cheese-making with the production of beef. As the dairy system has hitherto been carried on, it is eminently destructive of stock, the calves,. with the exception of those kept for breeders, being all sold for the shambles as soon as dropped; the price obtained is about 7s. 6d. a head. From this circumstance little attention has been paid to the selection of the bulls, and generally the choice runs in the direction of using the smallest sires, with the view of giving greater ease to the cow in gestation and parturition. Of course, where the calves are reared on the farm for the purpose of keeping up the stock, great care is bestowed on the selection of the bull, as well as on the pedigree and appearance of the mother. A few calves are reared for this purpose in most dairies, though the great bulk of the young stock is imported from the higher districts of Ayrshire, where the farmers lay themselves out for the rearing of dairy queys.

The dairy system having commenced so early in the present century in the Rhinns district of Wigtownshire, that locality seems to have taken and kept the lead, not only as to the number of its dairies, but also as to their size; for, with the exception of a few farms, the whole of this peninsula is at present under the cheese-making system. During the last five and twenty years great changes have likewise taken place in the Machars or lower district; large dairies having been introduced on farms where the Galloway stock were formerly bred and fattened.

In Kirkcudbright the dairy system has increased to a considerable extent among the farms on the lower grounds; though, from the high price of sheep stock, it is not likely to extend in the meantime to the higher grassy lands, as has been the case of late years in Dumfriesshire.

The size of the dairies varies from 40 to 100 cows. There may be a few which contain a smaller number than the former figure; but it is generally considered cheese can be produced more economically in a dairy of this size than with a less number of cows. On the other hand, when the number much exceeds 100, it is found inconvenient, with the private appliances on the farm, for the manufacture of cheese. There are as yet no public dairies.

Formerly, it was the almost universal custom to let the cows to a bower, but latterly this arrangement has been in many cases departed from, preference being given to the system of employing a responsible dairyman, or dairymaid, to look after the cheese-making, and everything in connection with the dairy. In following out this plan the owner can exercise more freedom in the feeding of the cows, and can vary the quantity as well as the kind of feeding according to circumstances, more readily than when under a contract with a bower to supply a certain kind of food of a given quality and quantity. When the cows are let, a written agreement is drawn out specifying the number of stones of cheese the bower is’ to give for each cow or quey, and also the amount of feeding the cows are to receive in the winter and spring, stating also the time they are to be turned out to grass, and the number of acres of pasture allowed to them. To avoid misunderstanding, it is necessary to be minute and explicit in detailing all the different items of the contract, so that nothing may occur to mar the harmony and good feeling so desirable for the successful conducting of the dairy.

When the cows are not let, but given into the charge of a dairyman, it is found advisable for his encouragement, besides payment of his usual wages, to enter into an agreement with him something like the following :— Dairyman to take charge of the cows, and, if they produce above 20 stones of cheese, of 24 lbs. to each cow, and 16 stones to each quey, he shall receive one half of all above these quantities up to the value of £60.

The term of entry is always at Martinmas, and, when the dairy is let, it is for one year, a fresh engagement being necessary every season. The first care at the commencement of the dairy year is to have the cows properly wintered; as upon the careful feeding of them while in the house depends in a great measure their milking powers during the ensuing summer.

The amount of feeding given during winter varies on different farms; but the following may be taken as general examples of the winter treatment cows receive, and the allowance of extra food given to each. Two tons of yellow turnips given before Martinmas, to keep up the winter milk; or, where cabbages are grown, they are sometimes substituted; and 5 tons of Swedes or yellows afterwards, with 2 or 3 bushels of beans ground, after calving. In winter the cows get straw at hall-past five in the morning, turnips at eight, and straw again after they have eaten the turnips. They are put out for two hours during the day, and when they come in they get turnips, then straw, and finally straw at eight at night. (On many farms the cows are not allowed to go out during winter after Martinmas, but have water supplied to them in the house.)  The straw is supplied to them in small quantities at a time, and never allowed to accumulate in the racks before then]. On some farms a certain number of acres of turnips are allowed, say — 1 Scots acre to six cows—the dairyman lifting them and taking his chance of the crop.

On Baldoon Mains and Crook, where few turnips are grown on the clay soils, draff, obtained from the neighbouring distillery at Bladnoch, is used as a substitute, and is found to answer the purpose well, about half a bushel a day being allowed to each cow. A good meadow is a valuable addition to a dairy farm. It supplies excellent winter feeding for cows. With good meadow hay cows winter well with few turnips; and in spring it is unsurpassed for milk-producing properties. Dairymen prefer to have the cows to calve early, say in February. This involves long feeding with artificial food; but, no doubt, the bower is anxious to get as much as he can from the cows before the following Martinmas. The cows are generally allowed to go dry about November, or three months before calving, late milking being supposed to induce abortion. The dairy stock is not turned out until the grass is well up, which is from the 1st of May to the 16th of the month, according to the season; an acre and a quarter being allowed to each cow. As soon as the early sown fitches or clover are ready for cutting, which is in June, the cows get a feed night and morning during the time of milking; two acres of the former and two of the latter being sufficient for this purpose, when irrigated with liquid manure, for a dairy of 90 cows during the season.

Having thus brought the dairy stock to the grass when the cows are in full milk, and the work of the dairy is in operation, we shall now look into the mysteries of cheese making. There are two kinds of cheeses made—the Cheddar and the Dunlop.  (As the Dunlop system is little practised, except in some small dairies, we have confined our remarks to the manufacture of the Cheddar cheese.)   The Cheddar is so called after a village in Somersetshire, where the celebrated cheeses of that name were originally produced. The soil of the Cheddar district rests on the limestone, upon which always grows rich and sweet herbage; and it is to this circumstance, perhaps, as much as to the care bestowed on their making, that the native cheeses owe so much of their excellence. Considerable diversity of opinion prevails among Galloway dairymen as to the effect of different qualities of soil on the production of cheese. Some affirm that cheese produced on good soil should not be of a better quality than that produced on soils of an inferior description. Others again argue that it is the soil that gives character to the cheese, the management in both cases being equal. In Wigtownshire a good deal of emulation prevails between the Rhinns and Machars dairymen. A large share of the prizes at the chief cheese shows having fallen to the lower district, the Rhinns dairymen are naturally looking to their laurels; but, notwithstanding much care and inquiry among them, Mr Gardner at Baldoon, when he competes, generally stands first. The fine pastures on this farm, it is averred, contribute in no small degree to Mr Gardner’s success, while he, on the other hand, does not attach so much importance to the richness of the pasture in seeking for first quality of cheese, as to the careful manipulation and management during the process of making. Without asserting a strong opinion on this subject, we shall only remark, that wheat, grown on the same farm, is ascertained to produce more loaves to the quarter than wheat of the same weight per bushel, and to appearance as good, grown on inferior soils in the same county. Reasoning from this, we would be disposed to attribute the superiority of the Baldoon cheese, in part at least, to the soil, but, without careful management and observation, this excellence could not be obtained.

The success of the dairy depends in no small measure on the completeness of the buildings and utensils required for carrying on the operation of cheese making, and great improvements have been made within the last few years, chiefly by the introduction of steam in the process of manufacture, and for heating the different rooms in the dairy. The buildings of a well-arranged dairy recently erected in the upper district of Wigtownshire are as follows :—First, the apartment for keeping the milk at night, and for steeping, 20 feet by 17 feet; second, the press house, 20 feet by 12 feet; third, the cheese room (on the ground floor), 28 feet by 21 feet; height of ceilings, 10 feet.   (The position of the cheese room on the ground floor may be objected to, but Mr M’Master, Culhorn Mains, whose dairy we are describing, considers it rather an advantage than otherwise, inasmuch as it insures a lower temperature in summer, and the winter temperature can be easily regulated by the heating apparatus. The saving of labour in the carrying of the cheeses up stairs is also considerable.)   All the apartments are well ventilated from the roof and sides to keep down the temperature in hot weather. Fourth, the heating apparatus; this consists of a boiler, 8 feet long by 2 1/2 feet in diameter, connected by pipes with the steeping tub, to supply steam for raising the temperature in process of cheese making. The several apartments are fitted up with 3-inch metal pipes, into which steam is introduced from the boiler to keep up the temperature in cold weather. The steam from this boiler also heats the water used in washing the dairy utensils, cooking food for the pigs, horses, and cows in spring.

The dairy utensils comprise steeping-tub of tin with false bottom for heating the milk; fire-clay milk coolers; cheesits, of which nine are required, 14 1/2 inches wide by 14 deep, holding 80 lbs. of green curd; two double presses, and one single one; two curd coolers, with grating of wood in the bottom covered with canvass, so as to allow the whey to escape from the curd; breaking-shovels; curd breaker; pails, &c.

There are, however, many of the chief dairies, without appliances for raising the temperature by steam, in which the curd and milk are heated in the usual old fashioned way. It is understood that greater care is requisite in heating the milk or curd by steam being introduced underneath, than in the usual method by warmed milk or whey. Mr Gardner still adheres to the old way as being safer. He considers it better to have his cheese room up stairs, as being more airy, and calculated to mature the cheese sooner than when on the ground floor. He objects also to the cheese room being heated with steam-pipes, as they cause a moisture in the apartment unfavourable to the ripening of the cheese. An open fireplace at one end of the’ room, and a close stove at the other, is all that is necessary for heating purposes.

In making Cheddar cheese slight diversity exists among the different dairies as to the carrying out of the practical details, but as we cannot enter into many of these minutiae, the details of one or two of the methods most generally practised are here given.

At the Baldoon dairy, Mr Gardner puts the warm morning’s milk into the steeping-tub first, then adds the previous evening’s milk, which has been all night in the coolers. By doing so he considers that the temperature of the milk can be brought to a more uniform degree than when the warm milk is added to the cold. The milk thus mixed is then heated up to 80o, by means of hot whey which has been previously soured. When the temperature of the milk is 70o little sour whey is required; at 60o, 12 choppins or English quarts are needed to sour 90 gallons. It is this souring process that gives character to the Cheddar cheese, and to the careful management of which a good deal of the perfection of the cheese belongs. If too much acid is present in the curd it imparts to it a bitter taste, and if too little the curd is tasteless, and does not possess that delicate flavour so indispensable to good Cheddar cheese. By being properly soured the cheese also becomes earlier ripe and sooner marketable. The proper degree of sourness is ascertained, when draining off the whey, by the last few canfuls only showing the presence of acid, and, if there is reason to suspect that acid is present in excess;. the curd is washed with fresh whey, until the superfluous acid disappears. So much for the souring process.

When the milk in the steeping-tub has been heated by the sour whey to 80o the steep and colouring are added, and carefully stirred until the whole is properly mixed. As much steep is used as will produce curd in forty-five minutes. If the milk, stands unsteeped longer than that, the cream begins to rise, and goes off in the whey, whereby the quality of the cheese is deteriorated Breaking then commences, and is continued for half an hour; when a little whey is taken off the top, and heated in the warmer to 140o. This is used to raise the temperature of the curd in the tub to 83o This occupies a quarter of an hour, during which breaking is continued, and for a quarter of an. hour afterwards,, so that the whole time occupied by breaking is one hour. The contents of the tub are then allowed to remain at rest for half an hour covered up, when the whey is taken off to within three inches of the top of the curds. Part of the whey is put into the warmer, and heated to 160o. This is used to raise the temperature of the curd to 100o. It takes half an hour to heat, and during that time the curd in the tub is constantly stirred. The warmer is again filled with cold: whey, which is heated to 160o, with which the temperature of the curd in the tub is raised to 102o. It is then stirred for half an hour, and afterwards. covered up for half an hour. The whey is then run off, and the last few canfulls kept for souring the milk in the steeping-tub in the morning. The curd is then put into the centre of the bottom of the tub to drain, and covered with hot cloths, in which state it remains for half an hour. The cloths are then. taken off, and the curd cut in four pieces; these are placed one above the other, and in this way it remains for half an hour covered up with hot cloths. It is afterwards lifted to the cooler, where it lies for half an hour, turned, and left to cool another half hour. It is then milled and salted at the usual rate of 1 lb. of salt to 56 lbs. of curd. It is then put into the vats, which are placed in the press. It is by this time about three P.M., and a gentle pressure is put on until seven, when the hot cloths are supplied, and the cheese returned to the press. The pressure is increased until next morning, when the cloths are changed, and full pressure put on; the cloths are again changed at night. The cheese, after remaining in the press for twenty-four hours, are taken out, capped, and put back to the press for twenty-four hours. They are then taken out, bandaged, and sent to the cheese room. The caps remain four weeks on. The cheeses are ripe in three or four months.

At the dairy of West Mains of Baldoon, where cheese of an excellent character is made, the following are the chief points in the management :—Twenty gallons of milk are put into the steeping-tub at night, to which is added next day, first, the morning’s milk, and then the remainder of the milk of the previous evening. The thermometer stands at 80o when the steep and colouring are put in, and curd is formed fit for breaking in an hour. The temperature of the milk in the steeping-tub is raised by warmed milk, there being no appliances for heating with steam. The breaking occupies about forty minutes; but, before this is completed, warm whey is added to keep up the temperature to 80o. The curd is then allowed to settle for half an hour, when some whey is put into the beater for the second beating, and the remainder let off until the curd is visible. The curd is next broken and stirred up, and the temperature raised to 90o, when it is allowed to settle again for half an hour, after which the whey that remains is drawn off and the curd heated to 100o. It is now left to settle for a quarter of an hour, when the curd is gathered into the centre of the bottom of the tub, where it remains for half an hour to allow the whey to drain off. It is then put into the vats, and. under pressure for a few minutes, according to the acidity, and when taken out of the presses, is weighed and spread on the coolers for half an hour before

milling. After being milled, the curd is salted, and put into the cheesits and press; full pressure is put on at once. The dairy-maid here considers that, if the curd is rightly made, no butter will show by the full pressure being put on at first. On the second day hot whey is put over the cheeses, the cloths changed, and the pressure continued. Next day they are taken out of the vats, and bandaged and put on the shelf of the cheese room. They are ripe in three months.

The Canadian system has been introduced into Wigtownshire, and is practised in a modified way with more or less success in several dairies. As the working of it is somewhat different from either of the methods described, the details are here given in full, as carried out by Mr M’Master, Culhorn Mains. -

The evening’s milk on being taken from the cows is put into coolers until the morning, when it is drawn off into the steeping-tub The temperature of the evening’s milk is kept about 66o, so that little heated sour whey is required to raise it to 83o, when the morning’s milk is added, at which point the milk should stand when it receives the rennet and colouring. As much rennet is put into the milk as will produce curd in about sixty minutes fit for breaking. Care is taken to break the curd gently at first, and the process is continued for thirty or forty minutes, until the curd is firm, and in a proper state for the separation of the whey. The mass is then allowed to settle for about thirty minutes, when it is stirred up, and the steam applied gently at first, and then gradually raised during thirty or forty minutes to 97o in summer, and 20 more in spring and winter. The stirring is continued for forty-five minutes, or until the curd comes to the proper firmness, which is ascertained by the curd feeling elastic, opening up, and dividing freely on being squeezed in the hand. The curd is then allowed to settle down for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from getting into a solid state. The whey is then drawn off in the usual way, until the curd appears, so that when acidity is approaching, the whey can be more quickly taken away; this is done as soon as the acidity makes its appearance. This is a very important stage in the operation of cheese making, and great care is needful to secure the right degree of acidity; if too sour the cheese becomes dry, and if too sweet softness and holes are produced. In the souring process the degree can be ascertained at an early stage of the operation, and when not sufficiently advanced the making process can be lengthened, and, on the contrary, hastened when the acidity is too forward. After the whey has been drawn off the curd is lifted out of the tub, and put into the cooler, and constantly stirred up for twenty minutes to keep it in a divided state; after which it is stirred occasionally until the proper acidity is acquired, and to allow the remaining whey to escape. The curd is then weighed, and salted at the usual rate. It is then allowed to cool down to 68o or 70o, when it is put into the vats or cheesits, which are immediately placed in the press. By this time it is between four and five o’clock in the afternoon. A gentle pressure is put on at first, which is gradually increased, until ten P.M., when full pressure is continued during the night. Next morning the cheeses are taken out of the vats, and immersed in scalding water for about three minutes for the purpose of giving them a good skin, and preventing them from cracking. Dry clothes being supplied, they are replaced in the press until the following morning, when the cloths are taken off, and the cheeses put into dry vats previously heated, without any cloths, and again placed in the press, where they remain until next morning. They are then bandaged and carried to the cheese-room, where they are turned regularly once a day. With a well-aired and well-ventilated cheese-room, and the temperature kept steady at 60o to 65o, they will be ripe for market in three months.

In making cheese by this method in Canada, it is calculated that it takes from 9 1/2 lbs. to 10 3/4 lbs. of milk to make 1 lb. of cheese, which is somewhat near the quantity required in this country. The expense of making is 1 dol. 10 c. ( One Dollar 10 Cents) per 100 lbs., boxes included, or about 5s. of our money. This is considerably under the cost of production in this country, for if we take the working expenses of the dairy at 30s. per cow, and her produce at 480 lbs. of cheese, this gives 6s. 3d. as the cost of making 100 lbs.

A great drawback to the success of the dairy is the number of cows that every year lose their calves from abortion, or that require to be replaced through defective vessels, age, or other causes. On a moderate calculation, this number is about 14 per cent., of which 8 per cent, is from abortion alone. This disease is frequently the cause of a great deal of disappointment and loss in some dairies, while in others it seldom appears except in isolated cases. The cause of it has not been very satisfactorily explained; and, for prevention, it is curious to note, that the course adopted by some dairymen is exactly that which others think is the producing cause. For example, it is a common opinion in some places that allowing the cows to go out for an hour or two about midday in winter is apt to induce this disease; whilst other practical men, who do not in general allow the cows to leave their byres in winter, recommend them to be put out for two hours every day as a preventive if abortion shows itself in any of the cows. It is hardly within the province of this report to enter into an elaborate discussion as to the causes of this disease. At the same time it is worthy of remark, that Galloway cows are seldom known to lose their calves; and they5 as a rule, are a great part of the winter’s day in the open air.

Regular feeding, with clean and wholesome diet, when confined to the byre, goes a great way to prevent abortion, care being taken at all times to have the turnips well cleaned and free from frost when given to the cows.

Pig feeding is an important branch of dairy management. When the whey leaves the steeping-tub, it is conveyed by an underground pipe to a tank or reservoir situated as near as possible to the pig-houses. These houses are generally built expressly for the purpose, and are constructed on different principles in different dairies; in one place the pigs are not allowed to see daylight from the time they are put in until ready for the market; while at another, each house is furnished with a small open court, in which the feeding troughs are placed. This latter plan seemingly recommends itself to reason as the more advantageous of the two. By feeding outside the bed is kept dry, and the animals thrive and grow the better of having a little room to move about, while under close confinement their legs are apt to became bent and deformed. Whey alone is seldom used to feed pigs ; it may keep the young stock in a thriving state for a certain time, but some more solid substances are used to complete the growth of the hogs and bring them to maturity. Indian corn, ground and boiled, or steeped in hot water overnight, is a common adjunct, and of this 1 to 3 lbs. to each pig is allowed daily. With careful selection of the breed to be fed, and minute attention to cleanliness and proper diet, pigs at six months old can be fed to weigh 15 imperial stones.

It is understood by dairymen that the pigs, after deducting the cost of all extra food, leave as much clear profit as will pay for the working expenses of the dairy, which amounts to about 30s. per cow.

There were 9659 pigs in Kirkcudbright in 1871, being an increase since 1857 of 2456. In Wigtownshire the numbers in 1871 were 11,352, being an increase of 1079 since 1866.

The exportations from Galloway by rail and sea, during the year ending 30th June 1873, amounted to 13,048.

18. Permanent Pasture and Meadow Land.

The permanent pasture, exclusive of meadow land, from which a crop of hay is taken, occupies an important place in the agriculture of the two counties. The Board of Trade returns for 1871 show that there were in Kirkcudbright 58,260 acres, and in Wigtown 27,913 acres, not broken up in rotation, but devoted solely to pasturage; being for the former more than three times the number of acres there are under green crops, and for the latter fully double the number of acres there are under the same crops.

The stock on this description of land is for the most part of a miscellaneous kind, consisting of cattle, dairy cows, and sheep; the best parts of it, however, are generally reserved for feeding cattle for the fat market. The cattle for this purpose are purchased in October, and are selected from the best stocks that can be had: aged bullocks are preferred. They are wintered on the old grass, with or without fodder according to the season but, in general, they are allowed what they can eat, the fodder being placed either in cribs or laid on the open fields. For some weeks in spring they are supplied with about half a cwt. of turnips each daily, so that when grass appears they are in good condition. A full stock for "summering" not being kept on the fields during winter, the numbers are increased as the grass becomes more plentiful, the same quality of cattle being selected. If the cattle have wintered well, and have been supplied with oil-cake, they are ready for the market by July or August, though on some pastures they may be matured earlier. Cake is not uniformly given in summer; by some it is questioned whether the profit repays the expense, but as a rule, except where the pasture is very luxuriant, it is allowed for some weeks previous to the sale of the cattle.

In illustration of the system of fattening cattle on the old grass, a short sketch of the management pursued at the parks of Howell, in the parish of Kirkcudbright may be interesting. These pastures consist of about 386 acres, and comprise the "Milton parks," which are considered the best grazing land in the south of Scotland, and were formerly old Church property in connection with the adjoining Abbey of Dundrennan. Mr Lusk says— "A part of the old grass is allowed for dairy cows, sheep, and horses; but about 250 acres of the best of it are kept for fattening cattle, mostly 3 1/2 years' old Galloways, which from the middle of November have sole possession of the fields until about the middle of May, when we add to their numbers, as grass comes, the best old cattle I can get, till we have usually over 200 on them by the middle of June. The store cattle are all outlying.’ Besides what hay they can eat, carted out to them daily, and laid on the open fields, they are allowed, for about ten weeks in spring, 56 lbs. of turnips each, so that when grass comes they are in good condition. I begin to sell them off fat about the middle of June, getting through them in September. For a number of years I gave an allowance of oil-cake in some of the fields; but, as a rule, I found this did not pay, and have now quite given it up. I prefer Galloways to any other breed of cattle; they seem most at home on our pastures, and, though costing more to begin with, where they are known, fleshers are so partial to the ‘Scots’ that with me at least they give the best returns.

On the same farm there are about 60 acres of meadow, from which heavy crops of hay are cut, on which the dairy cows and black cattle are wintered. About one-fourth part of these meadows are irrigated with mill water, into which all the washings from byres, cattle-sheds, and dung-heaps are led. The unirrigated part is top-dressed every third year—about one third annually— with compost, or well-prepared farm-yard manure, at the rate of forty loads the acre. As the grass is apt to get lodged, it is cut early with mowing machines, and carted into the hay-barn without being put into "stamp coles."

Considerable changes have taken place lately in different localities regarding the meadows from which a crop of hay is taken. In sonic places they have been turned into sheep-walks, while in other places they have been extended, and have always proved a valuable addition to the winter food of dairy cows, enabling the farmer to dispense with breaking up so much of the pastoral land for fodder during winter.

A good portion of the hay is cut on the banks of the rivers, which are apt to get flooded while the ricks are standing on the meadow. No time requires to be lost in the hay season in getting the crop out of the reach of these inundations, and the cart has to be employed frequently to place the "coles " on an eminence beyond the reach of the water-mark.

On the whole, the acreage under natural hay has increased in Wigtown from 3152 acres in 1870 to 3335 acres in 1872, while in Kirkcudbright it has increased from 8741 acres to 9463 acres in the same years.

The usual mode of improving the old grass and meadow lands is by lime, or bone manure. When the former is used, it is applied at the rate of five tons an acre, care being taken to have it well in powder at the time of application. When too wet, it cannot be got properly spread, and it loses a great part of its virtue. Half-inch bone manure is a valuable fertiliser for grass land, and when applied at the rate of from half a ton to a ton an acre the effects are not only speedily visible but lasting.

19. The Farm Labourers and their Cottages.

The married ploughmen are, for the most part, accommodated with cottages on the farm; any young lads that may be required are kept in the farmer’s kitchen. There are no bothies in Galloway. The engagements of the cottagers are for one year, gene rally from 26th of May; six months notice of removal is given. The hours of the men in summer are from six in the morning till twelve, when two hours are taken for dinner and rest; they resume at two afternoon, and stop at six. In winter, when the horses are in the stable, the men come to feed and clean them at half-past five in the morning, yoke at half-past seven, and plough eight hours, unyoking for feeding at twelve. The men again attend the horses at eight in the evening to supper them and rub them down.

Five and twenty years ago it was the custom on most farms to thrash the crop with the men by candlelight in the morning, who were also engaged in winnowing grain in the barn two nights in the week. (The winnowing of grain in the winter evenings by the farm servants was first introduced into Galloway more than a century William Craik Arbigland.)   This is almost entirely abandoned now, except in isolated cases, a regular staff of barn workers being appointed on all well-regulated farms.

On dairy farms each of the men is bound to furnish a milker, who also by agreement is to be kept employed in farm work when it is to be had. This part of the bargain is not in general acceptance among the ploughman, and the masters affirm they can get only men of a secondary class to agree to it.

The wages have hitherto been paid partly in kind and partly in money, but there is a growing desire both among employer and employed for money payments entirely, which, on many farms, have been adopted. Payments in kind are called "benefits," the items of which vary in the several districts of the two counties. It is a curious fact that they are highest in value on the best farmed land, or on the land in the vicinity of the sea-shore, which, no doubt, has the effect of attracting a better class of men to those districts. "Benefits" and money wages have been advanced considerably during the last three years; the following may be taken as the higher rate, while on many farms it is from 10 to 12 per cent, lower. The farm produce is here calculated at the average price of the last three years, the coals at present (1873) rates

7 1/2 boils, or 150 stones of oatmeal, at 2s.


6 bushels of barley, at 4s. 6d

£ 1.7.0.

3 bushels potatoes, planted

£ 1.10.0.

3 tons (24 cwt. each) of coals, carted free

£ 5.2.0.

House and garden, with manure

£ 3.0.0.


£ 15.0.0.

Allowance in harvest

£ 1.0.0.

Leave to keep a pig, hens, &c.


£ 41.19.0.

When money wages are given they amount to nearly the same sum.

The wages of lads, or young ploughmen living in their masters’ houses, are from £12 to £13 in the half year. As these young men are to form the ploughmen of the future, we may very shortly allude to their position and prospects. Living apart from the evil influence of the bothy, they are in general sober, steady, and free from vice. Having a good deal of time at their disposal in the long winter evenings, ample opportunity is afforded them for self-improvement, which, we are afraid, is oily in rare cases taken advantage of. A very few manage to save out of their earnings, so that when they marry, which is ‘generally early, there is little to commence housekeeping on. Feeling deeply, as all who reflect on this subject must feel, we will be excused a word of regret that the ways of applying their spare time to useful purposes, and forming habits of thrift and saving, have not been adopted by our young working men. This is the more to be regretted, when we see how much personal comfort is secured to the working man by the possession of a few pounds at the outset of his married life; and we feel compelled strongly to urge upon all these young men the necessity of acquiring early habits of saving, which, with determined effort have before now enabled, and are still enabling, men of this class to rise to situations of trust.

The rise in the wages of the married men within the last five years, taking the foregoing as the basis of calculation, may be estimated at one-fourth, or 25 per cent.; and no one acquainted with the general steady character of the men, will for a moment grudge them the advance. As a class they have hitherto been underpaid, and it is to be feared that their position at present would compare unfavourably with that occupied by the same class five and twenty or thirty years ago. At that time the cotters on most of the farms were each in possession of a cow, for the keeping of which £4, l0s. was deducted from his wages; the calf also was allowed to run on the farm until the following spring, when it was purchased by the master for £4 or £ 5. For the small amount of the purchase money at that time, the cottagers had the means within themselves of furnishing their families with milk and butter; but at present very few of them could afford to purchase a cow for this purpose.

The cottage accommodation has hitherto, in many places, been defective, both as to extent and in interior arrangements for comfort. A movement was made’ some years ago to pull down unsightly cottages without providing any better accommodation. The effect of this was to drive the working population to the villages and towns, from which the labourer had to walk long distances to and from his work. Now, however, a reaction has set in favour of extending the cottage accommodation, especially in the Rhinns district of Wigtownshire, where it had always been most defective. The Earl of Stair is showing a good example in this respect, having, since the beginning of 1872, erected no fewer than twenty-eight cottages on his estate in the Rhinns, and about fourteen more are in process of erection. These cottages have been erected either by agreement with the tenant at the beginning of a lease, or by the tenant agreeing to pay 5 per cent. on the outlay; and T. Greig, Esq., the factor on the property, affirms that the tenants are glad to get the cottages built on paying the interest, so much is the want of houses felt in that district. On the estate of Carrick Moore, Esq., of Corsewell, five double cottages have been erected during the last two or three years, without any interest being charged to the tenants. Some of the old cottages which were pulled down were built of dry stone, covered outside and inside with clay, and all with one apartment, the floor of which was formed with till. They were generally in a tumble-down state, being propped up with wooden posts, which, in some cases, protruded into the interior of the building.

We give the cost and dimensions of the apartments of some of these new cottages. One, erected in 1873 on Lord Stair’s property, consisted of two rooms, 12 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 6 inches, and 10 feet 10 inches by 13 feet 6 inches respectively; height of ceiling 9 feet 6 inches. It was built of bricks, and cost I£ 70, 5s, A double cottage for two families, with three apartments in each, cost £158. The cottages on the Corsewell estate were built after a design of D. Guthrie, Esq., the factor there. They are double houses for two families, consisting of three apartment, of the following dimensions :—Kitchen, 15 feet 6 inches by 15 feet 2 inches; bedroom, 10 feet by 6 feet 4 inches; bed-closet, 7 feet by 6 feet 4 inches—height of ceiling, 8 feet 6 inches. Built with projecting windows, each of the double cottages cost £120, and when less ornamental, £96.

The furniture of the old houses do not fit the new buildings; and the men complain that they have to purchase an entirely new suit at a considerable expense, which they can ill afford. This might be remedied by the landlord or tenant putting in iron bedsteads, and making a moderate charge for use of them.

The old-fashioned worker’s house consists of one apartment only; any division required is made with what is called a "boxbed." In these circumstances separation of the sexes is impossible; nor is it possible to obtain that privacy for the individual members of the family so essential for their proper upbringing.

Randolph, late Earl of Galloway, bestowed a good deal of attention on the cottages on his estate in Wigtownshire, and accomplished a great reformation in that respect. Many new ones, some of them of elegant design, were erected, all containing three apartments, without any additional charge to the tenant on whose farm they were placed. A number of the old ones were likewise remodelled, improved, and subdivided. Still a good deal remains to be done in the same line; and now that the call is for better houses, it is hoped it will be heartily responded to on all sides.

20. The Farm Buildings.

A modern well-appointed farm-steading is very different from the buildings required on the farm fifty years ago. At that time the only houses in use for the cattle were long empty sheds, opening into court-yards, in which the hardy Galloways were wintered. These have given place to, or have been supplemented by, substantially fitted up feeding-byres or cow-houses, and other buildings in connection with the dairy. Then the flail and horse-mill were the chief thrashing instruments which beat out the corn without separating it from the chaff. These also have been displaced by the powerful water-wheel, or the stationary steam-engine in connection with machinery, which at one operation thrashes the corn, and prepares the grain for the market. In all these advances, the tenants have borne their full share of the outlay. Did a change in the system of management necessitate the erection of a feeding-byre ? In many cases it had to be done at the tenant’s own expense, or on payment of heavy interest. Or, if steam had to be introduced to drive the thrashing-mill instead of horses, the whole cost of the erections in connection therewith, including the building of the costly chimney, fell upon the tenant, and without any hope of being recouped at the end of the lease. Neither does it improve matters when, at the beginning of a lease, the tenant is asked to pay 6 3/4 per cent. on capital expended by the landlord in necessary farm buildings. This is the rate of interest fixed by the Lands Improvement Companies on loans advanced for the erection of farm buildings, the payment of which ceases at the expiry of twenty-five years. It seems hard for a tenant to be asked to pay this interest, when at the end of that period the buildings become the property of the landlord free of charge. These companies insist also on the best and most expensive materials being used in the construction of the buildings. Hewn stones for the corners, the best pine for the roof, and everything in a style calculated to endure for a hundred years. This extravagance has no doubt deterred many of the tenants from encountering such a high rate of interest; but if a more equitable arrangement could he made, such as dividing the interest between landlord and tenant, we might indulge in the hope of seeing ere long, fewer ruined homesteads over the country.

A satisfactory arrangement has been recently introduced, and is being carried out under the energetic direction of J. Drew, Esq., on the Earl of Galloway’s estates, which seems to work well. When the leases expire, the buildings are remodelled, or the accommodation increased where found deficient. The rents are then fixed, on the assumption that the buildings are complete.

21. Conclusion.

Taking a general survey of Galloway, it may be said that the progress made by agriculture in the province during the last twenty-five years has been considerable. Iii the soil itself great changes for the better have been wrought. Stones and rocks have been removed from the surface, or quarried from the soil; and in some localities this has been done to such an extent as to change the face of the country. Mosses and swamps have been drained, and converted into arable land, which is now bearing corn or grass in rotation with the dry portions of the fields. These improvements have been executed in numerous cases by the tenants at their own expense. Occasionally some proprietors take up a farm to improve it before leasing it; but the greater part of these changes have been wrought by the occupiers of the farms.

The increase in the valuation of the counties has been noticed previously. This increase cannot in fairness be all claimed as the result of the improvements effected by the tenants. But, in justice to them, it must be said that a large share of it has been produced by the progressive value of the land, consequent on their own expenditure in lime, manure, and wages. On most of the land in Galloway it is scarcely possible for an enterprising tenant to carry on farming without, to a certain extent, increasing the value of his farm at the end of a nineteen years lease. There are also men of easy disposition who do not go in for much of this, and leave things pretty much as they found them. When the valuator conies round at the end of the lease, the enterprising man has no chance with his less pushing neighbour. For every stone or rock he has removed from the soil, for every drain he has made, for every open ditch he has covered, as well as for the extra manure he has applied during the currency of the lease, he has to pay now, in the advance of rent that is asked, owing to the improved appearance of the farm:

In justice to many landlords it must be said, there are gentlemen amongst them who consider the position of an improving tenant at the end of his lease, and are far from exacting "the pound of flesh."

A desire is beginning to manifest itself among landowners, to shorten the usual duration of leases, which has hitherto been nineteen years. It is to be feared that this is a step in the wrong direction. The present improved appearance of Wigtownshire is mainly owing to the existence of leases of nineteen or twenty-one years. On land incapable of further improvement there might be some show of reason in this movement, which is evidently for the purpose of obtaining the advance of rent at the end of twelve instead of nineteen years. But on land such as the Galloway soils, where so much capital is still required to bring it into a high state of cultivation, it is simply a mistake. Farmers will not expend their capital freely on a farm under a twelve or a fifteen years’ lease. But this restriction may act beneficially on themselves; it will make them pause in their expenditure on their farms, which have hitherto been carried on, in many instances, more as if they were the landlords than the tenants.

New and more stringent clauses are being introduced into some of the leases of the present day; the purport of which is to give directions as to the general management and manuring of the farm, and other points. With regard to the manuring clause, this part of the obligation may be deemed necessary, owing to the increased number of strangers, unacquainted with the business of farming, who now occupy farms. The old class of Galloway farmers have always been liberal in applying manure, and generally leave the land in better condition at the end of the lease than when they got it, to which the rich manure, made from highly-fed cattle, in no small degree contributes. Dairy farming, on the contrary, tends to reduce the condition of the land, and more artificial manures are needed to sustain its fertility than where cattle are fed.

During the last five and twenty years, the rent of land has advanced 58 per cent. in Wigtown, and 66 per cent. in Kirkcudbright

The gradual rise that has taken place in agricultural produce since 1848 will, owing to the increased cost of labour, and the extra quantity of manure required to produce crops equal to those of former years, scarcely account for this. The advance in the price of grain, beef, mutton, and dairy produce, since the above date, may be stated at 33 per cent. On the other hand, the rise in men’s wages since that time amounts to 50 per cent; and in women’s or field workers’ wages, the advance has been 70 per cent. Putting these figures together, we have—rents advanced 62 per cent., labour advanced 60 per cent., while the advance on the produce of the farm has been only 33 per cent.; wool alone excepted, the value of which has risen more than 100 per cent.

It will be inferred from these figures, that the profits of farming at present are not equal to those of former years; and still the demand for land continues, and the advance, notwithstanding the increased cost of labour, still goes on. There is, however, a limit to every thing; and the feeling generally entertained by experienced men is, that land has got beyond its value. With the lesson of 1806 before them, and its consequent train of ruin and overturn, farmers are acting cautiously in offering for land.

It is now the custom on some estates to call in the services of valuators from a distance at the end of the leases to put a rental on the farms. Without saying a word in disparagement of these gentlemen, whose judgement at home we have no doubt is in repute concerning laud with which they are acquainted, we must be allowed the remark, that no strangers, coming from the neighbourhood of cities, where ready markets are available, into a distant province such as Galloway, can have an adequate idea of the expense attending the marketing of the farm produce. These expenses amount to 12 per cent, on grain, and 6 per cent. on cattle and sheep sent to the Liverpool market, and in a valuation by a stranger are generally lost sight of.

It is the prevailing opinion of practical men in the district, that the local factors are much more likely to arrive at a proper estimate of the value of land, than an utter stranger unacquainted with its position or capabilities. Though brought up as lawyers, they are well acquainted with the agriculture of the district, and farmers would receive a valuation from them with greater confidence than from a stranger.