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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: People

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley

Loose Hay with Ryan Foxley A Farmrun Production by Andrew Plotsky

Central Oregon Locavore Online Fundraiser

CENTRAL OREGON LOCAVORE NEEDS YOUR HELP! We at SFJ can relate.  Central Oregon Locavore is running a GoFundMe campaign, similar to our Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.  Follow the links to learn more about Locavore and to show your support. www.centraloregonlocavore.org www.gofundme.com/locavore Central Oregon Locavore works for an ecologically stable and socially just food system […]

Cuban Agriculture

Cuban Agriculture

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In December of 1979, Mary Jo and I spent two weeks traveling in Cuba on a “Farmer’s Tour of Cuba”. The tour was a first of its kind. It was organized in the U.S. by farmers, was made up of U.S. farmers and agriculturally oriented folks, and was sponsored in Cuba by A.N.A.P., the National Association of Independent Farmers. As we learned about farming we also learned how the individuals, farms, and communities we visited fit into the greater social and economic structure of Cuba.

Paul Birdsall

Our Friend and Champion Paul Birdsall has Passed On

from issue:

Our dear, gentle friend farmer Paul Birdsall had the countenance of an old Maine lobsterman-wood cutter mixed with a toy maker’s spirit. He had that long true visage of a man at sea, it started ‘neath the cap bill and waved out and away just as far as need be. He had the posture of a man poised to turn and move onto the next thing that needed doing. No hesitations, no wasted steps. He had the patient reach and touch of a true horseman, making useful contact and taking sweet rewards.

B. Adroit's Profiles in Passion: Herscel Gouda

B. Adroit’s Profiles in Passion: Herscel Gouda

Excerpt: Um, ya, you’re just gonna have to read this one.

Meeting Place Organic Film

Meeting Place Organic Film

Local, organic, and sustainable are words we associate with food production today, but 40 years ago, when Fran and Tony McQuail started farming in Southwestern Ontario, they were barely spoken. Since 1973, the McQuails have been helping to build the organic farming community and support the next generation of organic farmers.

NYFC Bootstrap Videos Clover Mead Farm

NYFC Bootstrap Videos: Clover Mead Farm

I couldn’t have been happier to collaborate with The National Young Farmers Coaltion again when they called up about being involved in their Bootstrap Blog Series. In 2013, all of their bloggers were young and beginning lady dairy farmers, and they invited us on board to consult and collaborate in the production of videos of each farmer contributor to the blog series.

Hand-Harvested Food Challenge

The Hand-Harvested Food Challenge

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In the winter of 2011, Daniel mentioned a fourteen-year-old student of his who had spent a whole month eating only foods gathered from the wild. “Could we go for two days on the hand-harvested food we have here?’ he asked. “Let’s give it a try!” I responded with my usual enthusiasm. We assembled the ingredients on the table. Everything on that table had passed through our hands. We knew all the costs and calories associated with it. No hidden injustice, no questionable pesticides. We felt joy at living in such an edible world.

Farmrun - Sylvester Manor

Sylvester Manor

Sylvester Manor is an educational farm on Shelter Island, whose mission is to cultivate, preserve, and share these lands, buildings, and stories — inviting new thought about the importance of food, culture and place in our daily lives.

Jacko

Jacko

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By the time he was 3 years old, Jacko had grown into a big size jack, 13 hands tall and 900 pounds, and was still growing. That summer he ran the singlerow corn planter and raked the hay, proved himself handier with a single row cultivator than a single ox, getting closer to the plants without stepping on them. Gradually he had paced himself to his three educated gaits to fill whatever job Lafe required of him: fast walk for the planter and rake, slow walk for the cultivator and plant-setter, and brisk trot for the buggy.

Oxen

Oxen

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The culture of the ox was rich across New England. On my road alone there were several good ox men for me to learn from, and many more in the surrounding area. Even the men who were too old to still be working cattle, would give of their time telling us stories of when working cattle was economically practical.

Central Oregon Food and Farms

Central Oregon Food and Farms

Who is growing food in the high desert? How can you find it? And how can you contribute to creating a vibrant local food community in Central Oregon? Find out here! By consuming more Central Oregon grown food we keep money in our region, support local businesses, and have delicious, fresh food to eat.

Bud & Mary Rickett

Buck & Mary Rickett: Successful Small Farmers

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Ten years ago I answered a classified ad and went to a small western Oregon farm to look at some young laying hens that were for sale. That visit to Buck and Mary Rickett’s place made a quiet impression on me that has lasted to this day. On that first visit in ’71 my eager new farmer’s eye and ear absorbed as much as possible of what seemed like an unusual successful, small operation. I asked what must have seemed like an endless stream of questions on that early visit.

Sack Sewing with Wayne Ryan

Sack Sewing with Wayne Ryan

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Watching Wayne’s sure hands it was easy for me to forget that this is a 91 year old man. There was strength, economy, elegance and thrift in his every stroke.

The Way To The Farm

Lise Hubbe stops mid-furrow at plowing demonstration for Evergreen State College students. She explains that the plow was going too deep…

Biodynamic Meeting at Ruby and Amber’s Organic Farm

Biodynamic Meeting at Ruby and Amber’s Organic Farm

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One weekend I attended a Biodynamic meeting at Ruby and Amber’s Organic Farm in Dorena, Oregon, in the Row River Valley, just east of Cottage Grove. I always enjoy seeing other food growing operations, as this is such an infinitely broad subject, there is always much to learn from others’ experiences. At this farm, draft horses are used for much of the work.

Livery and Feed

Livery & Feed

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A livery stable, for the benefit of those who never heard of one, was an establishment which catered to horses. It boarded them, doctored them, and bred them, whenever any of these services were required. It also furnished “rigs” — a horse and buggy or perhaps a team, for anyone who wished to ride, rather than walk, about the town or countryside. It was a popular service for traveling men who came into town on the railway train and wanted to call on customers in cross-road communities.

Field Weeds and Street Boys

Field Weeds and Street Boys

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So, our farming system to feed hungry street boys is to have them farm “weeds”. As we have all experienced, weeds are perfectly adapted to their climate, are robust and need no fertilizer nor any of the insecticides to enhance a good crop. Because we are aiming for long term diversified permaculture (this is a Shea native tree area), we needed some very quick marketable crops while we wait for the trees to mature. These field weeds intentionally farmed have a ready market in the big city 5 km north.

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