The members of the Institute of Stock Inspectors, who have been attending the annual conference of that body in Sydney, yesterday paid a visit of inspection to the works at Homebush Bay of Messrs, Thorpes, Ltd., stock food manufacturers. Subsequently they were entertained by the firm at lunch at Sargent's in Market-street. The Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Chaffey) who had participated in the visit to the works, attended the luncheon at which Mr. F. C. Sargeant, managing director of Thorpe's, Ltd., presided.
In proposing the toasts of the firm's guests, Mr. Sergeant said that the feeding of live stock had not had in the past in this country the attention that it deserved. Stock here were largely fed on natural pastures. Under certain conditions this was sufficient, but as land became dearer and the country was subdivided into smaller holdings, farmers would have to consider methods of getting larger returns. Into this question the feeding of stock with supplementary foods would enter very largely. One of the greatest factors accounting for the tremendous decrease in the numbers of sheep in this country had been defective feeding.
Mr. Chaffey said he hoped that firms of the description of Thorpe's, Ltd., would do much towards preventing the wasteful methods employed by many farmers in this country in the feeding of animals. Most Australian farmers did not realise the value of well-balanced ration, and paid no attention to the scientific feeding of stock. If well-prepared supplementary foods were obtainable at reasonable prices there would be no need for the farmers to study scientific feeding as it would be done for them. The value of such methods of feeding in times of drought and in the lambing season was stressed by the Minister.
Mr. Max Henry, Chief Veterinary Officer, also dwelt on the value of good supplementary foods, particularly as an aid is resisting stock diseases. Well-fed animals, he said, were found to be far less liable to take infection than poorly nourished stock. Such foods were of special value in the prevention of internal parasitic infestation.