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4-341 (Raw)

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addressee,male author,male,Maxwell, Hugh,38
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
O'Farrell, 1984
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4-341-raw.txt — 3 KB

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Since writing last I bought 84 cross bred two tooth wethers from Wilson (having obtained a small loan £12 from a friend of Fannie's) as we were plenty of grass, which will add to our little clip. 
As Wilson was likely to be scarce of feed he proposed sending over 59 cross bred two tooth ewes to graze till shearing, agreeing to give us half the wool. As this was a good bargain for us I agreed. Unfortunately during the last week the dogs (tame ones I believe) got amongst them with the result we have lost 3 viz. one merino ewe and 2 cross bred wethers. Wilson has also lost 3 of his cross bred ewes. After poisoning the carcases we interviewed neighbours who keep dogs for wallaby hunting and talked very plain as to consequences in case they were seen hunting in that quarter. 
Simpson, Hamilton's man and myself had around the back well poisoned for dingoes, but hunters and tame dogs are mostly inside not outside'. I think however there is not much likelihood of a recurrence of this sort of thing for sometime to come. 
The sheep look splendid otherwise and I expect lambing to begin first week in August. We have had heavy rains last month and the Tambo was in flood for a week. Since the weather has been more or less leaky the ground has had a thorough soaking and a good and early spring is looked forward to. The potato crop turned out very poor, but with such a season as we have passed through it is not to be wondered at. Mr. Somerville, Mr. Davidson and Mr. Wilson planted also and only Wilson dug a very few. The rest of seed I never germinated. Mr S, Mr. D had not a single spud. So we are the only people on the Crossing eating our own potatoes now. We won't have any to sell but expect to have a few to spare for seed. I consider I can beat anybody around here in potato culture and I bar none. 
Mr. Somerville is the man who has started cheese and butter making in P. Johnston's old place. He makes a fairly good article in cheese but the butter is not A1. Mr. Johnston has removed to the block north of ours and has taken that paddock into his own hands again (Hamilton had it) and intends going into sheep once more after shearing. Hamilton now holds only 970 acres on the Crossing so I would not be surprised should he throw this lot up also as it is less than half he had a year ago while he has still a man's wages to pay all the same. Should he not require ours I intend having a big try at fattening the lambs and putting them on the market and get a few more ewes to stock - the front block also.
I have not had any word from Bendigo for over a month. They were well then but trade was terribly bad and prices have been greatly cut [...] - 
PS I have to again recommend you to try the leghorn fowls. Ours are white. - They are a big improvement on commons birds; even the first cross is much better than barndoors. I can assure you it means the difference between profit and loss. We have proved it beyond doubt. They are also hardy and good foragers. Kill off the common rubbish, keep a few leghorns or at least - first cross; feed them well in winter with oats and wheat for the evening-meal, potatoes with or without pollard or wheatmeal for mornings - warm and they will give it back again every penny. Common birds won't. [206]