When buying hay for livestock, there are several factors that must be considered besides the price per ton/bale and type of hay (legume, grass or a mix of grass and legumes). Two of the most important considerations are quality (nutritional make-up) and whether the hay is healthy and safe for the animals. A certain batch of hay may have excellent protein levels, for instance, but is still a poor choice if it is dusty or contains patches of mold.
The art and science of plowing soil is a culture mostly lost in today’s society, where a great number of people are disconnected from the land and from how their food is grown. The number of rural folk actually growing crops in this country is at an all time low, and even among them the theoretical knowledge and physical finesse required of plowing in its various forms has been largely replaced by the faster speeds of higher horse power tractors and more plow bottoms. On a weekend in April, 2012, twenty people gathered in Abington, CT for the Draft Animal Power Network’s Spring Plowing Clinic with Sam Rich. They came together to learn the finer points of using draft animal-power to turn land in order to form a seedbed.
Spring 2000 found David Baker harrowing a five acre field in Ovingdean, England with three Percherons and one Suffolk Punch. The church in the background was built in 1086 AD. and the flint wall was constructed by French prisoners of war after the fall of Napoleon.
I think a lot of people that have huge 2000 lb. plus horses would be happier with 900- 1300 lb. ponies. Some use half draft and half light horse, but a pony of draft type would weigh about the same as some of these crosses and be thicker built and more compact, thus easier keepers. That means a lot if you make a living with them as I do. I log with them and keep the better logs for lumber and sell the rest as firewood. I sell abut 150-200 cord a year and cut and sell year round.
With what was best for Sarah now done, we had the foal to worry about. Isaac was nowhere near ready to wean and badly underweight already. He flat refused to take Foal Lac, a milk replacer for foals. He did eat some hay and grain which likely was what was keeping him alive. He was a sorry looking little horse now and we wondered, should we put him down too? Is he old enough to make it? A day or two went by and I laid awake thinking about him at night. About the sad little foal that walked around and around the barn all day long looking for his mother. Then I hit on an idea and went to talk to our neighbor Ammon Weeks the next day.
The Grape is probably the oldest of domesticated fruits. It is probable that wine was made from it before the species was brought into cultivation. It seems to have been cultivated at the dawn of history. Its product was certainly no rarity in Noah’s time. The Grape of history is the Old World Vitis vinifera, the “wine-bearing Vitis,” probably native to Asia. The paramount use of the Grape always has been the production of wine. A subsidiary value is the production of raisins; and another is the production of fruit for the dessert and for culinary uses.
It was the weekend before the fourth of July and ten thousand people descended on Montgomery, Indiana for the 8th annual Horse Progress Days. There can be no doubt that this revolving event is the premiere international showcase for animal-powered agriculture. The previous two years it was held in the Lancaster area of PA. Before that, two years in Mt. Hope, OH and before that Indiana. The governing committee for the event has wisely chosen to revolve or rotate the location through Amish communities.
The breast collar style harness is by far the favored harness style amongst carriage drivers. Fitting of a neck collar is a crucial study and a simple, well-fitted breast collar is by far to be preferred over a poorly fitted neck collar. If you are new to neck collars, plan to do a lot of experimenting, spend some money, and try to find someone knowledgeable who can help you. Fitting breast collars is a simple matter, and one breast collar will fit a great variety of horses.
I take my hat off to catch a bit of the welcome breeze which has just come up and wipe my dripping forehead with the sleeve of my already sweat-soaked shirt. I lean down, stretch out as far as possible, grope around until I find the end of the trip rope, give a firm tug, and hear the satisfying sound of the hay loader hitch fall to the ground signaling a successful disengagement. I holler out, “To the barn!” Way down below and out of sight, beneath a mountain of hay, I hear Nathan say, “Let’s go, kids,” and the wagon begins to lurch across the hayfield in the direction of the barn.
Here are some pictures of a recent field day outing where several neighbors convened to plow 10 acres in preparation for oats, which happened to be the first public display of Tom’s Six in rope eveners. Even without signs advertising, “Caution, Grown Men At Play Ahead” a steady stream of vehicles turned in the driveway to either reminisce or gawk in wonder at the six plows and 18 horses all in one field. While every farmer hopes for – and needs – a bumper crop, shocking 10 acres of 100 bushel oats puts a strain on backs and good will for miles around. All the same, here’s wishing everyone a bin-buster.
All other aspects being equal, the primary difference in plowing, comfortably, with a single horse is that the animal walks on unplowed ground immediately adjacent to the previous furrow, rather than in the furrow. This will cause the point of draft at the shoulder to be somewhat higher and will dictate hitching longer and/or higher than with the animal walking down 5 to 8 inches lower in the furrow.
Milk containing abnormal flavors and odors is rejected by dealers and consumers. The producers of milk are giving considerable attention to the prevention of losses caused by the souring of milk. They too rarely recognize however, that the production of milk containing flavors not due to souring is causing an annual loss probably as great as that from sour milk.
One time I had a horse in there at the clinic and I asked Addy Funk to come out and take a look at it and I said, Addy, what do you think of this horse? And he looked it all over and I’m not sure but I think I had to ask him a second time what he thought about it. And all he said was, you can’t tell by looking at a frog how far he can jump.
I held the stick across her horns and wrapped the duct tape around them and the stick, crisscrossing back and forth, securing the stick to the horns. The hard part was doing it with a goat that was just a little wigged out under me. Rip, twist, press down. Rip, twist, press down. I wrapped until I could not move my creation off Dove’s head and the stick was too wide to go through the wire fence.
One July day, a 70 year old man visited Howard’s farm and explained that he had heard that he had bought a pair of Devon oxen. Howard yoked the cattle to show the gentleman what they could do. The man then asked Howard if he could drive them. Howard was a bit uncertain if he could handle them knowing that there were not many experienced teamsters in the area. The man proceeded to drive the cattle quite comfortably. To Howard’s surprise, the man slipped the yoke off the cattle and continued to drive them with no apparent trouble. The man, named Johnny Lamb, then went on to tell Howard that he had trained the team.
For centuries, the skills of training steers for work and the craft of building yokes and related equipment was passed down from generation to generation. It was common for a young boy or girl to be responsible for the care and training of a team from calves to the age of working capability. Many farms trained a team each year, either for sale or for future replacement in their own draft program.