Soil survey of Galveston County, Texas Page: 8 of 24
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6 BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY AND SOILS, 1930
674 farms in the county in 1930, 507 were operated by owners or
part owners, 148 by tenants, and 19 by managers. Of the 148 tenants,
94 paid cash rent and the others worked on shares.
Most of the farm buildings are small and of frame construction.
The houses are usually painted and kept in good repair. The type
of farming and size of farms do not require large barns, the largest
and best being on the dairy farms. Up-to-date machinery is in use,
and most farmers have a tractor and the necessary equipment. Most
of the work animals are mules, but some horses are used.
The leading agricultural industries, other than grazing beef cattle,
are dairying, poultry raising, truck farming, vegetable gardening,
The value of dairy cattle and dairy products is greater than of
any other agricultural product, and it seems likely to increase. According
to the Federal census, the production of milk increased from
1,165,497 gallons in 1919 to 1,427,136 gallons in 1929. At present
(1930) about 125 dairy farms are in the county, with herds ranging
from 20 to 100 milking cows, mainly grade Jerseys, with a few Holstein-Friesians.
Only a few registered bulls are kept, as pedigreed
cattle brought into the county are susceptible to Texas fever. The
calves are raised for milk cows or are sold as veal. Most of the milk
is marketed as raw milk in Galveston and Houston, either by individuals
or through a farmers' milk-marketing association. Some
butter is made and sold.
Compared to the number of cows milked, very little feed is grown.
The common practice is to buy all grain feeds and allow the cows
to graze, using as roughage the wild prairie hay. A little roughage is
grown, consisting mostly of hegari and Red Top sorgo. A mixture
of sorgo, hegari, kafir, and soybean vines are reported as making
good silage. A few dairymen supplement grain to some extent by
growing peanuts for feed. Oats and bur clover are sown for winter
pasture and Sudan grass for summer pasture.
The 1930 census reports 35,279 chickens on April 1 of that year.
The favorite breeds are Leghorn, Ancona, Rhode Island Red, and
Barred Plymouth Rock. Prepared feeds are used by most poultrymen.
Many poultrymen cull their flocks yearly, and more may do
so as the value of this practice is demonstrated. Poultry products,
consisting of eggs, fattened cockerels, and culled hens are sold locally
in Galveston and Houston. There are two chicken hatcheries in Gal.
veston County and several in the adjoining counties of Brazoria and
Harris, all of which supply the local demand for young chicks.
Many range cattle are grazed over the prairies and on the semimarshy
soils. In the summer and fall these cattle are moved to
northern or western pastures or are shipped to other points in the
State or to other States for fattening. Brahman or grade Brahman
cattle are used largely for range livestock, as they are reputed to be
more resistant to ticks and less subject to Texas fever. It is reported
that this immunity is inherent in Brahman cattle and that their
progeny are immune to the disease for several generations. Some
Hereford and Shorthorn cattle have been crossed with the Brahmans.
Fall, winter, and spring vegetables are produced and are shipped
to points in northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Ineluding
potatoes and sweetpotatoes, the 1930 census reports 1,124
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Foster, Z. C. (Zera Calvin) & Moran, W. J. Soil survey of Galveston County, Texas, book, 1935; Washington. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth19787/m1/8/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.