The Old Time Farm Magazines: War Horses, An Old Fashioned Recipe, Rye and Blue Grass for Ewes and Winter Oats Basics

Read articles from old farm magazines that talk about the need for war horses, give an old-time recipe and advice on when to plant winter oats.

| May/June 1977

  • War Horse
    When war horses were used in 1914-1915, it was mostly in the moving of guns to and from different fields of action, behind intrenchments.

  • War Horse

Have We Horses for Europe?

Production Has Been on the Increase
By G.E. Wentworth

Constantly the question is asked if the United States can spare enough horses for the purposes of the present European war. From 1870 to 1900, the thirty years before the general use of the automobile, the increase in the number of horses was at the rate of 400,000 a year. From 1900 to 1910 the increase in the horse population was at the rate only of 157,000 a year. Between 1910 and 1914 the increase has been at the rate of 282,000 a year.

There is no reason to suppose that as many mares were not bred in 1914 as in the three years preceding. Consequently there must be a crop of at least 300,000 colts this spring, and these will be available for American use within the next four years. Every horse shipper who comes to the Chicago market says that all through the Middle West the farmers are breeding their mares to good stallions, so there will undoubtedly be a double crop of colts for the spring of 1916.

If every horse above the normal number exported during the Boer War went to the front there were consumed in three years an average of 44,000 horses and 25,000 mules a year. There was a great mortality among livestock during the Boer War because of inadequate transport and quartermaster service, the tsetse fly, and the violent change of climate from North Dakota to Southern Africa. Reports of the veterinary department of the British Army show that horses from cold climates which passed through the equatorial regions and then encountered the discomforts of the campaign were short lived.

In the present, war horses are being shipped from one climate to another as pleasant as their own. The quartermaster service is excellent and the shipping accommodations are of the best. The campaigns are in countries that have been long settled. The horses in France work over paved streets and cultivated fields instead of over deserts and unbroken ground. There will be no tsetse fly, nor will there be great deprivation caused by lack of water and feed, as was the case in South Africa.

There is therefore no reason why the mortality among horses should be great, except at the very front. As all the armies are thoroughly "dug in," the work of the horses is mostly in the moving of guns to and from different fields of action, behind intrenchments. In other words, ordinary draft horses of medium weight are doing draft work in the fields in six and eight horse hitches. Under such conditions the mortality should not be great.

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