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History And Breeds Ox






Category: History and Breeds

It is quite certain that the ox has been domesticated and in the service
of man from a very remote period. We are informed in the fourth chapter
of Genesis, that cattle were kept by the early descendants of Adam;
Jubal, the son of Lamech--who was probably born during the lifetime of
Adam--being styled the father of such as have cattle. The ox having been
preserved by Noah from the flood of waters, the original breed of our
present cattle must have been in the neighborhood of Mount Ararat. From
thence, dispersing over the face of the globe--altering by climate, by
food, and by cultivation--originated the various breeds of modern ages.

That the value of the ox tribe has been in all ages and climates highly
appreciated, we have ample evidence. The natives of Egypt, India, and
Hindostan, seem alike to have placed the cow amongst their deities; and,
judging by her usefulness to all classes, no animal could perhaps have
been selected whose value to mankind is greater. The traditions, indeed,
of every Celtic nation enroll the cow among the earliest productions,
and represent it as a kind of divinity.

In nearly all parts of the earth cattle are employed for their labor,
for their milk, and for food. In southern Africa they are as much the
associates of the Caffre as the horse is of the Arab. They share his
toils, and assist him in tending his herds. They are even trained to
battle, in which they become fierce and courageous. In central Africa
the proudest ebony beauties are to be seen upon the backs of cattle. In
all ages they have drawn the plough. In Spain they still trample out the
corn; in India they raise the water from the deepest wells to irrigate
the thirsty soil of Bengal. When Caesar invaded Britain they constituted
the chief riches of its inhabitants; and they still form no
inconsiderable item in the estimate of that country's riches.

The parent race of the ox is said to have been much larger than any of
the present varieties. The Urus, in his wild state at least, was an
enormous and fierce animal, and ancient legends have thrown around him
an air of mystery. In almost every part of the continent of Europe and
in every district of England, skulls, evidently belonging to cattle,
have been found, far exceeding in bulk any now known.

As the various breeds of cattle among us were introduced into this
country from Great Britain, we propose, before going into the details of
the leading American breeds, to glance somewhat briefly at the history
of





Next: The British Ox




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