DIRECTOR   Saliva Pavlov


Sect. I. Choice of Live Stock. 4827. The animals required by a farmer are of two kinds ; such as are employed to assist in labour; and such as are used to convert the produce of the farm into food, or other disposable commodities. Subsect. 1. Live Stock for the Purposes of Labour. 4828. Tlxe animals of labour used in British farming are exclusively the horse and the ox. Much difference of opinion formerly prevailed, as to which of these two animals should be preferred ; and the preference has generally been given by speculative writers to the ox, and by practical farmers to the horse. Lord Kaimes in the last century, and Lord Somerville in the present, may be considered the principal advocates for the ox. To their arguments, and to all others, the following objections have been stated by the able author of the supplement to the 6th edition of The Gentleman Farmerand they may be considered as conveying the sentiments, and according with the practice, of all the best informed and most extensive British farmers. 4829. The first objection to oxen is, that they are unfit for the various labours of modern husbandry,— for travelling on hard mads in particular,— for all distant carriage*, —and generally for every kind of work which requires despatch : and what sort of work often docs not in this variable climate ? A great !>art of a farmer's work is indeed carried on at home ; and it may still be thought that this may be done by oxen, while one or more horse teams are employed in carrying the produce to market, and bringing home manure and fuel. But it is unnecessary to appeal to the author of The Wealth of Nations, to prove the impracticability of this division of labour, unless upon very large farms; and even on these the advantages of such an arrangement are at best extremely problematical. The different kinds of farm, work do not proceed at the same time; but every season, and even every change of weather, demands the farmer's attention to some-particular employment, rather than to others. When his teams are capable of performing every sort of work, he brings them all to bear for a time upon the most important labours of every season ; and when that is despatched, or interrupted by unfavourable weather, the less urgent branches are speedily executed by the same means. Tins is one cause, more important perhaps than any other, why oxen have ceased to be employed; for even ploughing, which they can perform better than any other kind of work, is scarcely ever going forward all the year ; and for some months in winter, the weather often prevents it altogether.