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Working Cattle And Horses

Working Cattle And Horses image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The question as ofton asked, why do not farmers use cattlo more for farm work, niñee they are kopt at so mucli lesa expense tlian horses F The roason is thoy, they are not moro cheaply fod cousidering tho amount of labor poi formed, aud they are too glow to allow their use to become universal, when labor is acaree and consequontly high. The horse consumes his feed, grinding it thoroughly, and it immediately undergoes the process of digestión, while at work ; not so the ox. The food is roughly masticated, passes into the first stomach, is thero still i'urther softened, and macerated, and passes into tho second stomaoh. It is then raised, chewed, and, boing again swallowed, passes into the third stomach ; there digestión begins, and, when received into the fourth, the true digestivo stomach, the process is continued by mixture with the gastric fluid trom its walls, and is convorted into ohyme ; it then passes out and enters the first bowei where it receives the secretion froni the pancreas, and tho liver and then becomos chylo. Passing along the bowels, the nutriment is constantly absorbed by the numerous ducts and by them passed into the blood, by which it is distributed to keep up the wear and tear of the body, and build up nevr structures whero the labor is not so severe as to constantly exhaust the food which is supplied. From this it will be seen that, although the horse consumes much more time in taking his food than the ox, when once taken the animal is roady to labor until this sustenance is assiuiilated and the force given by it consumed. With the ox it is different. He must have time to rechow his food, or rumiuate. At slow work, if not exhaustive, this may be, and often is performed while at labor, it' of such a kind as to afford resting spells, but if this labor be continued and heavy, as in plowing, etc, the animal is prevented from ruminating until at rest. For this reason, au ox should never be employed for more than five or six hours each day iti exhaustive labor, leaving three hours for gathering its food if grass, and an equal time ior rumination ; this with its labor, and twelve hours rest occupies the twenty-four hours of the day ; for the ox, unlike the horse, cannot rest without lying down. The horse, on the other hand, when at work is f'ed on concentrated food, oats and corn, with whathay.may be uecessary for a divisor of this food. The animal will require from one-half to threequarters of an hour to properly mastícate i each mess of grain, the hay being principally consumed during the night, and iu the early morning beforo feeding timo. If fed only on grass, or hay, he will ! form no moro work than the ox, for : nearly the whole timo is consumed in gathering food enough to support the i animal eoonomy. The stomach of the I horse is smal], and eatmg and digestión go on simultaneously. Therefore in all uew countries, where grass is plenty, and grain is scarce, oxen are generally used ; but as soon as the farmer is able to procure grain enough to feed horses, or ïnule-teams, oxen are quickly abandoned for horses, except for slow work, as hauling fodder, carting manure, and other labor of that kind, for whicli they are always available. If, however, cattle are fed liberally with meal or other ooncentrated food, they will be found to do nearly as much work one day with an other at plowing, harrowing, and other slow work as horses, for in this case so much time is not, spent in rumination, and the food being prepared ready, so much time is not taken in eating. Indeed we have known cattle so fed for a considerable length of time, as to perform fully as much work in cool weather at plowing, etc, as horses, and then there is this additional advantage thut, when disabled for active work, they are rit for human food. We think that, on the majority of farms, one yoke of cattle might be profitably employed to each two or three pairs of horses, for there is a variety of work that they may perform to good advantage, but if so kept they should be liberally fed, for any animal forced to perform labor at the expense of flesh and rnuscle already laid on does so at a loss to the owner. - jiifdiflfltt Jltps.


Old News
Michigan Argus