I left her to her thoughts and busied myself sweeping the tack room, putting some buckets away, and generally puttering about setting the barn in order, Bristol fashion. What a curious thing is the mind of a horse. I first got the idea of the squab business from a gentleman who boarded with us who used to raise pigeons.
Then I happened to see Mr. I wanted to know just what I had to do to raise squabs for market before I purchased any birds. I hardly knew what a pigeon was and had never seen a squab. After carefully reading Mr. We thought we were a little foolish too. Most of the grain losses from combine operation can be prevented if the grain is ripe enough when it is cut and if the machine is correctly adjusted. The machine should be adjusted for each field that is cut and adjusted several times each day for changing weather conditions.
Good operation of the combine is difficult where there is a large proportion of weeds in the crop, but correct adjustment reduces the trouble. Grain loss may be at the following places: Every thresherman purchasing a new machine wants to do just a little better work than his neighbor.
Micro-dairies: small farmers fight back
It is therefore important that he should operate his machine properly in every particular. He should make every adjustment necessary to do good work. The cylinder should be run at the proper speed and the concaves adjusted to meet the existing conditions and kind of grain, so that all the heads will be threshed clean of every kernel. The more perfect the threshing, at the cylinder, the nearer the approach to perfect separation.
Each animal has its individual salt requirements. Some want more than others… they need more for proper animal metabolism. A steer on a winter ration of roughage will require much more than a steer on a fattening ration of roughage and grain. Similarly, sheep will require more salt than other animals.
A milk cow, giving off salt in every pound of milk will require more than a beef cow. To be sure, it is a good thing to mix salt with the grain ration. But additional salt should also be fed Free Choice so that each animal can help itself to the salt it needs, when and where it wants it. Farmers who are good horsemen know everything that is presented here: Good horsemen know from long experience that sore necks or sore shoulders on work stock are due to ignorance or carelessness of men in charge, and are inexcusable.
The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching. While the heritage breeds overcome the shortfalls of the Cornish-Rock Cross CRX and similar modern hybrids, they come with their own drawbacks. They do not approach the rapid growth rate, low feed conversion rates, and low production costs of the CRX, but there is a lack of information as to which breed or breeds might serve as a potential alternative for niche markets.
Thus, our proposed solution was to raise a variety of heritage breed chickens on pasture, to gain a sort of foothold regarding expected growth considerations and production costs. According to the size of the horse and his hoofs the nails should be driven from five-eighths to an inch and five-eighths high, and as even as possible. As soon as a nail is driven its point should be immediately bent down towards the shoe in order to prevent injuries. The heads of all the nails should then be gone over with a hammer and driven down solidly into the nail-holes, the hoof being meanwhile supported in the left hand.
The importance of poultry-house ventilation is generally conceded, but just what is meant by ventilation and how it may be accomplished is not so well known. It is becoming increasingly evident that adequate ventilation cannot be accomplished merely by throwing doors and windows wide open to let the wind blow into the house; the air conditions within the pen must be so controlled that weather has only a secondary effect. Since the horse is useful to man only by reason of his movements, his foot deserves the most careful attention.
The horse-shoer should be familiar with all its parts. By waking up so fully to the tasks at hand we are empowered to be more present, more available, and thus able to offer a compassionate and skillful response to the needs of our horses even as we ask them to accomplish heavy work on the farm. It is not up to the horses to trust us; it is up to us to prove ourselves worthy of their trust. What the horses can offer to us are new avenues to freedom and resilience, sustainability and hope. It is in the rice fields, however, that the buffalo excels. Rice is not sown broadcast; it is first planted in nurseries, and when about 12 inches high is transplanted a spear at a time into the soft mud of the fields which has been prepared by ploughing.
In preparing the ground for the rice, no animal is equal to the buffalo, for in the mud and water of the field it is in its element. Its great weight causes it to sink deep in the mud and its enormous strength enables it to plough deeper than can be done in any other manner. From reading the Small Farmers Journal, I knew that some people are equally happy with either model, but because McCormick Deering had gone to the trouble of developing the No. Even if the improvement was small, with a single horse any improvement was likely to increase my chance of success.
As evidenced by our letters and the frequent comments of contributors to this magazine, the question of size in draft horses is a hot issue. The first mini I bought was a three year old gelding named Casper. He taught me a lot about what a 38 inch mini could do just by driving me around the neighborhood. I presently have four minis that are relatively quiet, responsive to the bit, and can work without a lot of drama.
We are blessed who are active participants in the life of soil and weather, crops and critters, living a life grounded in seasonal change. This talk of human connection to land and season is not just the rambling romantic musing of an agrarian ideologue. It is rather the result of participating in the deeply vital vocation that is farming and knowing its fruits first hand. Establishing the age of farm animals through the appearance of the teeth is no new thing. Certainly for generations the appearance, development, and subsequent wear of the teeth has been recognized as a dependable means of judging approximately the age of animals.
Horses are honest creatures. And, what I mean by honest is that a horse is almost always true to his motivations, his needs, his perceptions: He is incapable of temporarily setting aside or subverting his motivations to get to some distant goal.
Small Farmer's Journal
This is often mistaken as evidence for a lack of intelligence, a conclusion which says more of human nature than equine smarts. What it means for the horse is that he is almost never lazy, sneaky or deceptive. It is simply not in his nature. En route to a remote pasture where the Belgian draft horses, Prince and Tom, are grazing, we survey the vast green landscape, a fine mist hovering in distant low lying areas.
We are enveloped in a profusion of sweet, earthy balance. Interns and other workers start their chores; one pauses to check his smart phone. Scattered about are many animal-powered rustic implements. This rich and agriculturally diverse, peaceful place is steeped in contrasts: Doug Strike of rural Sublette County is spending his second winter feeding wild elk in nearby Bondurant, Wyoming.
Strike is supplementing his logging income as well as helping his team of Belgian draft horses to keep in shape for the coming season. From May to the end of November he uses his horses to skid logs out of the mountains of western Wyoming.
In the wild, this double vision was a big advantage, making it difficult for a predator to sneak up on him. He can focus both eyes to the front to watch something, but it takes more effort. Only when making a concentrated effort to look straight ahead does the horse have depth perception as we know it. This will only add fuel to those late night discoursians about the relative merits of horses over mules or viciversy.
Is the horse the smarter one for hitching a ride or is the mule the smarter one for recognizing the political opportunity which this all represents? Remember that politics is a luke warm bowl of thin soup.
After moving the drop ring on the other side down we went out to the round pen for a test drive. The difference in how she ground drove and turned was amazing — not perfect, but real sweet. With the lines at that level a right turn cue on the line obviously meant go right to her, and a left turn cue meant left. This is an excerpt from Horse Breeding by M.
In breeding horses the perfection of the animals selected should be carefully considered. Occasionally stallions are selected on the basis of their pedigree. Such practice may prove disappointing, for many inferior individuals are recorded merely because such […]. Dinnertime rolled around before we could get people and horses off the field so that results of judging could be announced. I learned a lot that day, one thing being that people were there to share; not many took the competition side of the competition very seriously. Don Anderson of Toledo, WA was our judge — with a tough job handed to him.
Everyone was helping each other so he had to really stay on his toes to know who had done what on the various plots. In other words, working at desensitizing or sensitizing him by simulating things he will experience in the future trimming and shoeing, crupper, bridle over the ears, bit, etc.
It had been an eye-opener, showing how strong and in touch with sustainable farming values the Amish are, and how innovative and sensible their efforts could be. I was going to be a farmer forever, I got a degree in agriculture but the farm was not a viable option. I diversified at 22, starting and growing an events business called MotivAction, by the time I had got to 42 none of us in the family were farming. Now the average age of farmers that are left is over 60 and there are more people in prison than working the land. The story of my life has been holding onto — albeit as tenant — this small farm over the years of set-aside and then starting to farm again, but totally differently — the objective being to create an ecological alternative to corporate supermarket consumerism.
And, at least to have a go at making a future so my children will be able to say I tried. So Emma, my gorgeous agrarian partner, my brother, and I, with the bemusement and support of former farmers, set about farming again. Reducing the number of farms is deliberate policy, enacted first by UK governments and latterly by the European Union. The big farmers are kept drunk on subsidies whilst the small, medium and family farms have been squeezed out.
Farms have been commoditised in order to create and feed a food industry. This is a globally driven policy. Currently there are 1,, small farms in Poland, some of the most biologically sustainable food production enterprises in Europe, being deliberately taken out of business, to make way for global agri-business. Back in the UK, one supermarket now makes more profit than the whole of UK agriculture. A few corporations dominate agri-business.
Meanwhile the food industry has created an obesity epidemic, costing the UK billions, as well as a population totally disconnected from the land and food. As happened across Hertfordshire, the animals disappeared from view.
Bizarrely, from this small start, quite a sizeable events business grew over the next 20 years that enabled the farm to be retained. One thing that commentators all agree on is that food and farming must change. We must feed people in the future without using nitrate fertilisers. Could there be an alternative? Would it involve envisaging farms as a place to produce food, and the farm as a service provider - a polycultural, complex, vertically integrated, systems and ecological approach based on biological efficiency?
Would it involve farms that connect directly with customers and so are not slaves to a single or handful of buyers? If we can combine food and farming systems that are environmentally sound and productive, with business models that work, then maybe we can forge an alternative and a renaissance of real food and farming. Convinced by background reading and given a kick up the butt after falling ill for months and facing my mortality in , my family and I moved from passive observer of the farming scene for 20 years to bringing the family farm back into production.
Ready has been the approach to establishing a farm to feed people.