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Manitoba’s last 17 buffalo

Our History: April 1898

vintage newspaper article

The April 1898 issue of the Nor-West Farmer featured a sad item on Manitoba’s last 17 buffalo, which were in a herd at Silver Heights and were about to be shipped to Banff National Park. The herd had been started from calves brought in 30 years earlier. Some of the animals had been intended for experimental crossbreeding with cattle, but the article said, “Those who know a little more about the facts could have told even then that not one cow out of a score bred to a buffalo bull would ever do much good, but the idea caught on for a while, till the loss of cows got so great that the enterprise ended in a fizzle.”

One of the queries for veterinary advice that month was from a subscriber at Holmfield whose seven five-month-old pigs had “something like the croup,” and who also had lice on his cattle.

The reply was to “Give each of them a half-teaspoonful of sulphur in their feed once a day and rub their throats with spirits of turpentine. For lice on cattle, apply fish oil freely, or else wash them down with kerosene emulsion.”

A subscriber at Glenboro asked for advice on his horse’s frequent urination when working hard. The recommendation was, “things as are known to be soothing to the urinary organs; of these flaxseed, boiled, is the best, and as an alternative, boiled barley.”

As for a subscriber at Hyder whose pig had a carbuncle on his nose just back of the nose ring, the reply was, “The presence of a carbuncle on a pig’s nose would lead one to inquire if he were of strictly temperate habits, but as we can exclude alcohol as a factor in the disease, it may be set down as an inflammatory growth caused by irritation of the nose ring.”

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