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Priest attended the Agricultural Meeting at Working* ton this year, for the express purpose of witnessing the process, and learning, on the spot, how far it had answered, in order to recommend its adoption into Norfolk. Mr. St. John Priest made various experiments also on the draught of Scotch (Carron) carts. If this able and intelligent Secretary of the Norfolk Agricultural Society can succeed in establishing the potatoe plan of feeding, and can convince the Norfolk farmer of the advantage he would derive from using single horse carts instead of waggons, he will render to that county a most essential service, and save the labour of every fifth horse, upon the most moderate calculation.
I have at this time four steaming houses; one at the Schoose, a second in the Stable yard, a third at Moore Close, and a fourth at Ewanrigg. In no instance has it failed, where fairly tried. An experiment was made by a neighbour of mine; who reported to me, after some time, that it had not answered: on enquiry, I found that the potatoes were given as a substitute for corn, not hay. Every undertaking so conducted can have but one fate.
Economy in the feeding of horses is an object of importance, both as it concerns the individual and the public. When it is considered, that six millions of the best acres in. the kingdom are applied for their jupport, every contrivance which is calculated to reduce the number, or to feed them with a less proportion of ground, is deserving of serious attention; and viewing it in this light, I could not withhold my assent to the republishing of this essay, with a view to
its more general circulation. The circumstances of the country, as well as the discussions which have of late engaged the attention of the public, upon the means of supporting, not only our present population, but an increase of it, will, I trust, not only excuse, but justify, my compliance. I have great pleasure in laying before the public the communications I have received from my friend Mr. Spedding, and also from Mr. Dansie, who assured me, that was .he now td propose relinquishing the feeding his horses with potatoes, there would be as much opposition to his so doing, as he met with when he first commenced it.
I have reason to believe potatoe feeding is practised to a considerable extent in Liverpool.
I have had occasion to notice the extraordinary advance which had taken place during the month of November, in the price of potatoes. This obliged me, from a due regard to the interests of the labouring community, to discontinue my steaming, and to offer the potatoes to sale, which produced the effect expected. By this means I succeeded in reducing the price of this useful, and in this part of the kingdom absolute necessary of life, to sixpence per stone: a price greater than it could be wished they should be . at; but below which it might not be prudent to attempt to reduce them in such a season, lest in affording a temporary benefit a lasting injury should be donej by discouraging the very general growth of potatoes.
In the stead of potatoes, four pounds- of oats was added per diem to each horse, with six pounds of car
c 2 rots rots and steamed straw. This feeding did not answer, and the horses daily lost their condition, and were reduced to a state I had never before had my horses in. Fortunately I was enabled a month ago to purchase a large quantity of black potatoes from the north of Ireland, which though considered inferior for the table, answer extremely well for steaming. The great and manifest change which has taken place since the potatoes were restored to the horses, has done more to convince my own servants, and the individuals here, of the advantage of this mode of feeding, than all that has passed under their observation for the last six years. The proof arising from circumstances quite unforeseen, of the excellence of potatoe feeding, carries such conviction, that I was unwilling it should not be added to the ample testimony previously given on the subject.
JFbrltington Hall, Felruary 22, 1603.
We whose names are hereunto subscribed, being in the employ of Mr. Curwen, and in the daily habit of seeing and attending to his work horses, hereby certify, that the amendment and improvement in their condition (without any diminution of work, and notwithstanding the uncommon wetness and severity of the weather) within the last few weeks, since they have had their potatoe feeding restored to them, is most striking, surpassing what we could have believed or credited, if we had not been eye-witnesses of the fact.
We are free to own, although the majority of us have been in the habit. of attending the horses ted with potatoes for years, we were not so fully sensible as we now are, from the 'experience of seeing the potatoes taken from th'e horses and again restored to them, of the excellence of the feeding, and how especially the potatoes contribute to the health and condition of the horses.
WILLIAM HOODLESS, Land Agent.
ISAAC KENDALL, Bailiff.
THOS. MOORE, Groom.
JOHN DICKINSON, Farrier.
JOS. DICKINSON, ^
THOMAS COTTIER,C Horse Keepers.
DAVID JACKSON, )
GEORGE ACTKIN, Bailiff, Moor Close,
Mire House, Nov. 3d, ISO?.
My Dear Sir,
I Am sorry I cannot comply with your desire, to state the result of my last winter trial of steamed potatoes as a food for horses, with all the accuracy I could. wish; for as I resorted to it from necessity, and not for the sake of the experiment merely, I did not pay that exact attention to the quantities used which I might have done. This much, however, I can safely state, that it enabled me to maintain a quantity of
c 3 stock,
stock, which, frpm the failure of my hay crop, and deficiency of other fodder, I could not by any other means have effected. I had nine horses, and to mainT tain (them, four acres of potatoes, one of carrots, and two of pease, cut in the bloom, but a weak crop/ grown on poor worn-out land. From the potatoes I supplied my family, the consumption of which I computed at S0 bushels, and fatted 10 swine, which devoured me 180; these being somewhat more than the produce of one acre, there were left only three for my horse consumption. A ton of hay was consumed in occasional feeds to a saddle horse and two colts, in ^a distant shed, when the weather did not permit the potatoes being carried to them; but as one-third of the pease straw remained at the end of the winter, I did not take this into account, but considered my nine horses to have been daily supported on the six acres above stated. The pease straw was cut to mix with the potatoes. As these horses fed on hay would not have .consumed less than 25 tons (a good crop for thirteen acres), the advantage of the mode is so decisive in my mind,, that I have resolved to continue it as the regular practice of my farm. The expense to me is trifling; one woman executed the whole, besides attending entirely on 23 head of cattle, (pulling and leading the turnips they consumed); and my local situation giving me the advantage of refuse wood, which would otherwise be of small value, even fuel is an inconsiderable object. The condition of the horses were unexceptionable, they were only too fat, though $he work they performed was very heavy; four of - . them