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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

This is an excerpt from Horse Breeding by M.W. Harper, a Dept. of Agriculture Bulletin from January 1928.

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 animals command a good price on the market. In choosing breeding horses each animal should be closely inspected, and only superior individuals should be placed in the stud. If the stallion has been in breeding service and has colts, they too should be inspected. His colts show his reproducing powers and furnish the true test. If they are uniformly good, he may be considered; on the other hand, if they are inferior, he should be disregarded.

pferd
Purity of ancestry is an important factor in choosing the stallion, for the capacity of a horse to produce superior offspring will depend largely on his ancestors. Often it is a question which factor should receive a larger share of attention, the individual merit or the pedigree. Formerly great length of pedigree was associated with breeding quality, but the present evidence goes to show that it is the immediate ancestors that are of most importance.
To be suitable for mating, two animals should be as nearly alike in general characters as it is possible to select; otherwise the outcome of a union cannot be foretold. Since no two animals are exactly alike, the outcome is likely to be an average between the characters of the parents and what it is desired to obtain in the offspring. When the offspring shows good qualities, the mating is considered a fortunate nick; when there is no resemblance to either parent, but to some near ancestor, the recurrence is called atavism; and if to some of the far-removed ancestors, it is called reversion. The success of a horse breeder often depends on his ability to mate animals properly. Some persons become very skilled in such matters.
No matter what type or breed is selected, the brood mare should be of good size for the breed to which she belongs. Her conformation should be rather open. The head should be fine and feminine in appearance and the neck should be thin. The shoulders should slope well into the back, and the withers should be high rather than low. The back should be rather short, with a somewhat long underline. The ribs should be well sprung and rather open. The hips and short ribs should not approach each other too closely. The hind quarters should be broad and deep. The pelvic region should be broad so as to insure ease of foaling. The legs and feet of the brood mare should be especially noted. The bones of the limbs should be clean and free from coarseness, so that the legs appear wide and flat. The tendons should be prominent and free from meatiness, and the hair should be fine, silky, and glossy.



broodmare
It is of great importance that the brood mare be free from all forms of unsoundness or disease that is hereditary or communicable to the off-spring. Many breeds have fallen into the error of considering any broken-down, halt, maimed, blind, or otherwise unsound mare fit for breeding purposes when no longer able to work. Blemishes that result from accident are not hereditary nor transmissible and do not render the mare unfit for breeding. The greatest possible care must be exercised, however, in deciding whether the blemish is the result of accident or is an inherent deficiency.
The brood mare should have a good disposition. Infirmities in temper seem to be readily transmitted to the offspring. Moreover, pregnant mares are often quarrelsome, and distressing accidents may occur when the mare has a naturally vicious disposition.
While absolutely perfect mares can rarely, if ever, be found, and few farm breeders can afford to reject a mare for small and unimportant defects, yet it would be a great advantage to each horse-breeder and a boon to the horse-breeding industry if all actually unsound and notably unsuitable mares were rigorously rejected when breeding stock is being selected.

Spotlight On: How-To & Plans

Horsedrawn Plows and Plowing

Setting Up A Walking Plow

Here is a peek into the pages of Horsedrawn Plows and Plowing, written by SFJ editor and publisher Lynn R. Miller.

Retrofitting a Fireplace with a Woodstove

How to Retrofit a Fireplace with a Woodstove

Because the venting requirements for a wood stove are different than for a fireplace you need to retrofit a stainless steel chimney liner. A liner provides the draft necessary to ensure that the stove will operate safely and efficiently.

Log Arch

Log Arch

by:
from issue:

The arch was built on a small trailer axle that I cut down to 3 feet wide and tacked back together. This was done so that I could keep the wheels parallel. I cut the middle out after construction was complete. I used heavy wall pipe from my scrounge pile for the various frame parts. It is topped off with an angle iron bar for added strength and to provide a mount for the winch and some slots for extra chains.

Barn Door Plans

Barn Door Plans

Good barn doors, ones that will last a lifetime of opening, sliding and swinging in the wind, require careful design and construction. In 1946 the Starline Co., a barn building firm from the midwestern US, compiled a book of barn plans. These two diagrams were in that book and presented excellent information.

Horseshoeing Part 4A

Horseshoeing Part 4A

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.

"Work Horse Handbook, 2nd Edition" by Lynn Miller

Draft Collars and How To Size Them

It is difficult to accurately measure a horse’s neck without fitting. In other words, there are so many variables involved in the shape and size of a horse’s neck that the only accurate and easy way to size the neck is to use several collars and put them on one at a time until fitting is found.

The Anatomy of Thrift: Harvest Day

On the Anatomy of Thrift Part 2: Harvest Day

On the Anatomy of Thrift is an instructional series Farmrun created with Farmstead Meatsmith. Their principal intention is instruction in the matters of traditional pork processing. In a broader and more honest context, OAT is a deeply philosophical manifesto on the subject of eating animals. Harvest Day is the second in the series, which explores the ‘cheer’ that is prepared on the day of slaughter, and dives deep into the philosophy and psychology of our relationship to animals.

Laying Out Fields For Plowing

Laying Out Fields For Plowing

from issue:

Before starting to plow a field much time can be saved if the field is first staked out in uniform width lands. Methods that leave dead furrows running down the slope should be avoided, as water may collect in them and cause serious erosion. The method of starting at the sides and plowing around and around to finish in the center of the field will, if practiced year after year, create low areas at the dead furrows.

How To Prune

From Dusty Shelves: Pruning Guide from 1917

Delivery Wagon Plans

Delivery Wagon Plans

from issue:

While the low down delivery wagon is an improvement, the objectionable features are increased. But with all those objections the low down wagons increase every year. Their convenience outweighs all other objections. They are handy for country delivery and are fitted up inside to suit either grocers, bakers, butchers or milk delivery, or a combination of the four.

Portable A-Frame

Portable A-Frame

by:
from issue:

These portable A-frames can be used for lots of lifting projects. Decades ago, when I was horselogging on the coast I used something similar to this to load my short logger truck. Great homemade tool.

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

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from issue:

The first step was to decide on an appropriate chassis, or “running gear.” Eventually I chose to go with the real deal, a wooden-wheeled gear with leaf springs rather than pneumatic tires. Wooden wheels last forever with care and are functional and look the part. I bought an antique delivery wagon that had been left outdoors as an ornament. I was able to reuse some of the wheels and wooden parts of the running gear.

Shed and Barn Plans

Below is a short piece from Starting Your Farm, by SFJ editor and publisher Lynn R. Miller. Click the links below to see Chapter One of Starting Your Farm and to view the book in our online bookstore. “You may have purchased a farm with a fantastic set of old barns and sheds. You, on […]

Swallow

Rotation As A Means Of Blight Control

Every farmer knows that when a crop is grown on the same field year after year, it becomes inferior in quality and the yield steadily diminishes.

Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil Building a Fire

Farm Drum #29: Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil – Building a Fire

Lynn Miller & Pete Cecil talk about Blacksmithing basics, and Pete demonstrates building a fire in the forge.

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Cheese

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Cheese

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from issue:

Yogurt making is the perfect introduction into the world of cultured dairy products and cheese-making. You are handling milk properly, becoming proficient at sanitizing pots and utensils, and learning the principles of culturing milk. Doing these things regularly, perfecting your methods, sets you up for cheese-making very well. Cheese-making involves the addition of a few more steps beyond the culturing.

The Craft of the Wheelwright

The Craft of the Wheelwright

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from issue:

In these days of standardization and the extensive use of metal wheels you might think there is little call for the centuries old craft of wheelwrighting, but the many demands on the skills of Gus Kitson in Suffolk, England, show this to be very far from the truth. Despite many years experience of renovating all types of wagons and wheels even Gus can still be surprised by the types of items for which new or restored wooden wheels are required.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT