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of a week or two, he said, “ Bring that horse over: he don't go as well.” He was taken over, and a light shoe put on him, and he went as well as ever.
Mr. Bowditch's horses go down hill rapidly. I shall not uphold him in that. It is said he needs iron horses to stand it. But, so far as the feet of his horses are concerned, you seldom see one that is limping.
QUESTION. Would Mr. Bowditch omit calks from the shoes of heavy horses that are driven on city pavements ?
Mr. Bowditch. I would omit calks unless they are absolutely necessary.
When it is icy, you cannot get along without something in the way of calks. But that is a necessary evil. If you can shoe your horse properly for nine months in the year, he will stand abuse for three months. You can get along in that way; but never use calks unless you are obliged to. My horses come to the city; and I have asked the teamsters repeatedly, “Do the horses slip on the pavement ?” The reply has always been, “ Never, sir."
Not many weeks since, my horse slipped on the pavement, and I attributed it to his being smooth. I am in the habit of having blunt calks put on my horses' feet. I have had the impression that they stood better when they had those calks on, especially when I drive on the pavements. When in the country, I do not feel the need of them. But I remember well, some years ago, when I was in Paris, I was struck with something that seemed very peculiar in the management of dray horses in the streets. They were treated the same as Connecticut girls are before they weed onions. The girls have knee-patches; and those horses were equipped with knee-pads. I noticed, to my surprise, that they not infrequently slipped in the streets, which were wet, as a general thing, in the cold season; and, as safeguard, many of the horses had leather pads on their knees, so that when they fell, and came down upon their knees, the pads would protect them somewhat.
I wish, while I am up, to make a single remark with regard to what the gentleman from New Hampshire (Col. Humphrey) said about breeding. He instanced a mare that was first covered by a black stallion, and subsequently by various other horses of different colors; but all the progeny were black. That, of course, only goes so far as color is con
cerned; but it brought forcibly to my mind a remark that Professor Agassiz made to me a few years before his death, which was this: that he had noticed, that, if a mare was covered in the first instance by a scrub, the whole of her future progeny were scrubs, no matter how highly bred the horse was. He said that this applied not merely to horses, but the same rule held good in the bovine race; that if a cow was covered in the first instance by a mean, unworthy sire, her future progeny, no matter by what bull she was covered, partook of the mean character of the first sire: a high-bred calf could not be had. The same rule, Professor Agassiz said, held good with the dog, and with other animals. This, I am aware, is a nut for scientists to crack; but it is certainly worthy of the observation of all breeders of stock, or animals of any kind.
Mr. WILLIAMS of Waltham. If there are no more questions to be asked in regard to the shoeing of horses, there is a question I want to ask the essayist; and that is, whether, if I wish to repeat the qualities of either sire or dam, one more than the other, there is any way by which I can do so; if, for instance, by putting the male into a state of excitement, if I wished to repeat the male, and keeping the mare in a state of perfect quiet at the time of service, I should be more likely to repeat the male in the progeny, or vice versa, if I wished to repeat the female.
Mr. RUSSELL. That question has been very often raised. A great deal has been said upon it; and there are instances on record in which breeders have experimented in that way. There was a case in which Sir Tatton Sykes, a distinguished English breeder, wished to perpetuate the qualities of a horse called “Muley-Moloch," a celebrated race-horse. He and his stud-keeper brought out the mare, and kept the horse for half or three-quarters of an hour in the presence of the mare, and walking about her; and they contended and believed that the progeny of that cover embodied the highest qualities of the horse. That was a case in which the two animals were of equal lineage, and probably of equal powers. The mare was one of the very first of her class of English thorough-bred mares; and the horse was, perhaps, the very best horse of his day in England as a sire, so that the proof might have been good in that case; but if the horse
had been inferior to the mare, if he had been a “ scrub," so called, a low-bred, cold-blooded horse, and the mare had been a high-bred animal, with hot, powerful, and strenuous blood, inherited from a line of ancestors of similar quality, I doubt if they would have had any such proof to give from their experiment. The strong parent, the strong blood, the high lineage, will prevail in breeding, however you may prepare the parents at the time. And then comes in the fact that you rarely get a progeny that is like either your dam or sire. They throw back whole generations in the short generations of animals like the dog and the horse. You notice that in families of men. Take families like the English aristocracy, some of whom have portraits of their ancestors dating back several generations; and in France also, it is no uncommon thing to see a child of the present generation that seems a reproduction of some ancestor whose portrait hangs on the wall, whose bones have mouldered in the tomb for three centuries.
Mr. WILLIAMS. It would be a sufficient answer to my question to suppose that the sire and the dam are of equal strength of blood. In the first place, unless they were both of good quality and well-bred, I do not think it would be for my interest, or any other gentleman's interest, to breed. But I may have a choice in regard to the progeny: I may wish to repeat one or the other. The question I put is, Provided they are of equal strength of blood, what would be likely to govern the character of the progeny ?
Mr. RUSSELL. It was considered by Sir Tatton Sykes that he did govern it in the experiment I have cited.
Mr. WILLIAMS. I have had a little experience in that direction ; and I asked the question because I wished to be indorsed if I could be: otherwise, I should have said that it was only an accident. I took a mare to “Robert Bonner," owned by Col. Russell; and, immediately after the arrival of the mare, she was served, and was then taken home. The result of that was, that I had a colt that almost precisely followed after the blood of the mare; not particularly the individual characteristics of the mare, but the characteristics of the breed which the mare was from. The year following, an accident happened to the mare, and I was unable to take her to Col. Russell's place, and he was kind enough to send
his horse to my place here in Waltham. The result of that connection is a colt that entirely follows after the breed of the horse.
Mr. — In the case just mentioned, the mare, in the first place, was driven to the sire, and she was freely exercised. The action of the heart was stimulated ; her blood was warm; her whole muscular system was developed ; the whole system of circulation was in a high state of activity: and the result of the connection was a colt that closely resembled the mare. In the last case, the stallion was driven to the mare, and he was exercised. His heart was warmed up naturally into a high state of action; the circulation of the blood was vigorous; the blood was warm ; the whole muscular system was fully developed, and there was vitality there, there was life there: there was an extra condition of life. It may be that that may have something to do with this great subject; that is, that, in order to secure the best results, it is necessary to have the best conditions of life and activity in both sire and dam. Mark, that in the first case, where the mare was travelled, the result was, that her conditions were repeated : when the stallion was travelled, the result was, that his conditions were repeated.
The CHAIRMAN. I will call upon the secretary of the New Hampshire Board of Agriculture, Mr. Adams.
Mr. J. O. ADAMS of Manchester. I had supposed that it was so near the close of the morning session, that I should not have any occasion to say a word this morning. I will say but a single word ; and I do that merely to answer the call, because I am unwilling to shirk any position. But you could not have called upon me to say a word upon any subject connected with 'agriculture with which I am less familiar than with this. It has occurred to me, however, during the discussion that we have had, that some points, perhaps, have been omitted, or have not been made very prominent, that are worthy of some notice; and I will suggest one, at least, that I believe has hardly been touched upon; and that is the matter of breeding from immature animals. I believe the lecturer made scarcely an allusion to that.
It seems to me that it is a fault with most of our breeders,
particularly, perhaps, with those who breed neat-stock, although the breeders of horses are not exempt from the
same fault, — that they breed from very young animals. We may, perhaps, fall into the opposite error, and breed from animals that are too aged, or have been too much exhausted by former efforts; but I think the great mistake that is made is in breeding from young animals. We are very anxious, if we have a good animal, to secure its progeny as early as possible in order to save expense; and this very cupidity that we have may lead us to sacrifice greater interests in the future. If we compared the virility of animals with that of the human species, we should not generally be willing to let them breed until they were at least four
years old: whereas we are very apt to use bulls before they are one year old, even at nine months. Horses are not used quite so young; but they are sometimes used when two or three years old, an age quite too immature for successful service. I desired to call your attention to this, not because I could tell you any thing new upon it, but because it has not been brought up very much at this meeting.
There is another point which has escaped observation, to a considerable extent. In breeding, particularly in breeding horses, I believe it is not only necessary to have good blood, not only necessary that the animals, at the time of service, should be in good condition, but that, immediately afterwards, the mare should have proper associates. I believe she is liable to be influenced, as regards her offspring, by her associations at the time of conception with animals that are objectionable in themselves. I knew a case in point, of a mare that had been associated with a very awkward gelding, and had evidently acquired quite an attachment for him. She was put to a horse and had a colt; and the colt resembled this gelding in a very striking manner, showing the effect of association upon the mare while carrying the foal. I think this is a matter in regard to which the owners of mares are very apt to be neglectful, and especially farmers. Farmers take no pains, generally, with their breeding animals, especially with their mares. They want them for work; and they use them just as they would if they were not with foal. Special breeders guard against this error; and I wish to impress upon the ininds of those who are breeding for common purposes, that they exercise a little more care in this respect.
I will not take up any more time now, because I do not