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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 PST

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.



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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: Equipment & Facilities

Horse Powered Snow Scoop

Horse Powered Snow Scoop

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The scoop has two steel sides about 5 feet apart sitting on steel runners made out of heavy 2 X 2 angle iron, there is a blade that is lowered and raised by use of a foot release which allows the weight of the blade to lower it and then lock in the down position and the forward motion of the horses to raise it and lock it in the up position. This is accomplished by a clever pivoting action where the tongue attaches to the snow scoop.

Cockshutt Plow Found in Alberta

Cockshutt Plow Found in Alberta!

Dale Befus introduced me to a plow I had not set eyes on before, most unusual affair though Dale assures me not uncommon in Alberta, this implement is a beam-hung riding plow (wheels hang from the beam) as versus the frame-hung units (where the beam hangs under the wheel-supported frame).

Snow Trail Groomer

Snow Trail Groomer

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Want to groom sled trails, freeze skid trails, or set cross-country ski trails? Here is a relatively inexpensive device that has numerous advantages over the conventional chain link fence, bedspring, log, tractor tire, etc. It is easy to construct, manhandle, and store. One of the major advantages over some other methods is that it allows the snow to stay on the trail rather than pushing it to the side. This action allows it to cover rough surfaces such as roots, rocks, and ruts.

Eighteen Dollar Harrow

Eighteen Dollar Harrow

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This is the story of a harrow on a budget. I saw plans on the Tillers International website for building an adjustable spike tooth harrow. I modified the plans somewhat to suit the materials I had available and built a functional farm tool for eighteen dollars. The manufactured equivalent would have cost at least $300.

McCormick-Deering Potato Digger

McCormick-Deering Potato Digger

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McCormick Deering (eventually International Harvestor) made what many believe to be one of the outstanding potato digger models. This post features the text and illustrations from the original manufacturer’s setup and operation literature, handed to the new owners upon purchase. This implement, pulled by two horses or a small suitable tractor, dug up the taters and conveyed them up an inclined, rattling chain which shook off most of the dirt and laid the crop on top of the ground for collection

McCormick-Deering Tractor Disc Harrow No. 10-A

McCormick-Deering Tractor Disc Harrow No. 10-A

Small to mid-sized disc-harrows are a most useful tillage implement. Some farmers consider them indispensable. Discs such as the McD 10-A may be used with either tractors or big hitches of work horses. This tool will cut both plowed and unplowed ground. Ahead of the moldboard plow, the disc harrow is a valuable tool to cut up and free tough sod. When employed in tandem with spring tooth harrows, a great deal of work can be accomplished in much less time.

The Magna Grecia Hoe

The Magna Grecia Hoe

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Last spring I put a handle on a curious gardening tool I picked up at the FALCI company in Italy. Ashley, our 17-year-old (a seasoned gardener and enthusiastic digging fork user), was first to try it. She came back excitedly in a rather short time with a request: “Call to Italy right away and have them send us more of these.” “These” are the Magna Grecia hoes, popular in the Calabria region of South Italy but, interestingly, known in very few other places.

Cultivating Questions The Cost of Working Horses

Cultivating Questions: The Cost of Working Horses

Thanks to the many resources available in the new millennium, it is relatively easy for new and transitioning farmers to learn the business of small-scale organic vegetable production. Economic models of horse-powered market gardens, however, are still few and far between. To fill that information hole, I asked three experienced farmers to join me in tracking work horse hours, expenses and labor over a two-year period and to share the results in the Small Farmer’s Journal.

Ask A Teamster Neckyokes

Ask A Teamster: Neckyokes

I always chain or otherwise secure slip-on type neckyokes to the tongue so they don’t come off and cause an accident. Neckyokes unexpectedly coming off the tongue have caused countless problems, the likes of which have caused injuries, psychological damage, and even death to horses, and to people as well. Making sure the neckyoke is chained or otherwise secured to the tongue every time you hitch a team is a quick and easy way of eliminating a number of dangerous situations.

Horse Powered Snow Fencing and Sleigh Fencing

Horse Powered Snow Fencing and Sleigh Fencing

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We were planning on having our cattle out in a sheltered field for the winter but a busy fall and early snows meant our usual fencing tool was going to be ineffective. Through the grazing season we use a reel barrow which allows us to carry posts and pay out or take in wire with a wheel barrow like device which works really well. But not on snow. This was the motivation for turning our sleigh into a “snow fencer” or a “sleigh barrow”.

The New Idea No5 Transplanter

The NEW IDEA No. 5 Transplanter

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The planting distances or intervals at which the water is released, is controlled by the gear and pinions under the shield near the driver’s right foot. The large, flat-faced gear should be so turned that the arrow on the back points straight up. The numbers on either side of the arrow will then be so arranged that the number 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be on the side of the water trip lever and will denote the various positions in which the Driven Pinion meshes with the gear.

Haying With Horses

Haying With Horses

If the reader is considering the construction of a barn we encourage you to give more than passing thought to allowing the structure of the gable to be open enough to accommodate the hanging of a trolley track. It is difficult or impossible to retrofit a truss-built barn, which may have many supports crisscrossing the inside gable, to receive hay jags. At least allowing for the option in a new construction design will leave the option for loose hay systems in the future.

Walsh No Buckle Harness

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When first you become familiar with North American working harness you might come to the erroneous conclusion that, except for minor style variations, all harnesses are much the same. While quality and material issues are accounting for substantive differences in the modern harness, there were also interesting and important variations back in the early twentieth century which many of us today either have forgotten or never knew about. Perhaps the most significant example is the Walsh No Buckle Harness.

John Deere Side Delivery Rake No 594

John Deere Side Delivery Rake No. 594

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When starting a new side rake, turn the reel by hand to be sure it revolves freely and the teeth do not strike the stripper bars. Then throw the rake in gear and turn the wheel by hand to see that the tooth bars and gears run free. Breakage of parts, which causes serious delay and additional expense, can be avoided by taking these precautions before entering the field.

Farm Drum 26 John Deere Grain Binders

Farm Drum #26: John Deere Grain Binders

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Friend and Auctioneer Dennis Turmon told us about a couple of John Deere Grain Binders he has in an upcoming auction, and we couldn’t wait to take a look. On a blustery Central Oregon day (sorry about the wind noise), Lynn takes us on a guided tour of the PTO and Ground-Drive versions of this important implement.

Living With Horses

Living With Horses

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The French breed of Ardennes is closer to what the breed has been in the past. The Ardennes has always been a stockier type of horse, rude as its environment. Today the breed has dramatically changed into a real heavy horse. If the Ardennes had an average weight between 550 and 700kg in the first part of the last century, the balance shows today 1000kg and more. Thus the difference between the Ardennes and their “big” sisters, the Brabants in Belgium, or the Trait du Nord in France, has gone.

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