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our meadows began to fail us towards the end of September, owing to the quantity of stock upon them, it became necessary to allow the oxen more and better hay.
The increased expenditure alarmed me; as the four oxen, and the five horses, consumed no less than four tons within one month. This caused me to prohibit the use of hay in the racks, and to feed all the cattle with chaff; of which a boy can cut sufficient for daily use in two hours.
My servants not only ridiculed the change, but, so far as they dared, opposed it in an underhand manner, by various evasions and pretexts. Aided by the care and vigilance of the young Gentlemen with me, the system of chaff-feeding was fully esta. blished; and the quantity needful for the horses, and for the oxen, separately ascertained.
One hundred weight of hay was found to yield 20 bushels of chaff pressed into the measure, and piled as high as it could safely be carried ; confe. quently each bushel weighed about 5 lbs. Ic was found that the five horses would eat twelve bulhels of chaff during the 24 hours; and that the four oxen would consume an equal quantity in the same time. Ever since the oxen have been fed with chaff only, they have very evidently improved in condition, as have also the horses, although their work has latterly been on heavier soil, and of course, more severe than formerly.
Twenty-four bushels of chaff, at 20 to the cut amount to about 21 tons yearly ; which, deducted from 48 tons, (the quantity we were consuming within the year,) gives a faving of about 26 tons, or more than half.
I have, however, carried the retrenchment further, by cutting in bean-stalks, to the extent of about a quarter of the chaff. These, being laid uppermost in the cutting trough, keep the hay well pressed, and cause it to be cut more regularly. Thus we now use about 25 cwt. of hay monthly, instead of four tons !
It is customary in our quarter to throw bean-stalks under cattle, a practice which cannot be too fpeedily abolifhed. Mine had suffered much from standing out full a month in the late rainy weather, yet
all my cattle ate the chaff cut from them alone, without hesitation ; indeed, rather in preference.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Writblington, Nov. gth, 1812.
Communication on Ploughing, and the use of an
(By a Member of a New Ploughing Society in Wilts.]
TO THE SECRETARY
West-Lavington, Nov. 14, 1812. SIR, THE object of your truly honourable Society
I conceive to be in all respects rational, useful, and patriotic, and consequently deserving the atten. tion of all lovers of mankind; and with sincere gratitude and pleasure, I acknowledge my obligations for its existence, and indefatigable exertions in communicating general knowledge on subjects of Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce.
Thousands, no doubt, have experienced the bene. fits of your annual communications already; and many more anticipate the time when your exertions in agricultural improvements will be attended with still greater success. All men are interested in dif. coveries really beneficial; and the new modes of using the plough claim the attention of the Agriculturist, to make his land produce crops good and abundant, and at a reduced expence. It was from your experiments in ploughing, that I was induced to send a Beverstone plough, invented by Mr. Tugwell, to your ploughing match at Deptford, and which, I am happy to find, gave general satisfaction.
From your Society, a noble ardour in agricultural pursuits has been kindled in this neighbourhood, and is still emanating with increasing usefulness. About two years ago, at my request, a few of my friends agreed to make a public trial of ploughs, and accordingly we put the fame in practice ; which was the origin of the Market-Lavington Ploughing Match. We have fince that time had four public trials, which were all very respectably attended, and satisfactory results were witnessed. The Association has, since its commencement, gradually increased, and now assumes the title of the South-West Wiltshire Farming Society. We have distributed our premiums to the most successful candidates, according to their respective deserts, and rewarded all the ploughmen somewhat in proportion to their merit, viz. three coats value 455. 378. and 30s. were given to the three most meritorious ploughmen. We are still going on with unanimity and zeal ; and have appointed our next meeting to be in the first week in June 1813, of which public notice will be given in the Newspapers.
I have procured an Index Engine, for the purpose of determining the resistance of each plough; and, in my private experiments, have nearly ascertained the number of horses which ought to be used in ploughing each kind of soil, in each season of the year. First, I determine the weight of the plough ; if I find it 21 cwt. and the land to be ploughed to be of a medium description, that is, between a light and heavy soil, I judge two horses to be fufficient, supposing them to be good, and well kept. If the weight of the plough be 3 cwt. I allow three horses, if 5cwt.four, and so in proportion. By my observations I have discovered sometimes too few, and sometimes too many horses used in plough. ing; it may be four, when two would have been sufficient, and perhaps at a time when the labour of the horse was of the greatest value to the farmer, and his corn, turnips, &c. have been injured in confequence, by being sown too late ; at other times two horses only may have been used, when four were necessary; in this last case, the motion of the plough has been impeded, the horses over-worked, and the usual quantity of land for the day has not been ploughed. I conceive that a good horse, in ploughing, ought not constantly to draw more than 1 cwt. because ploughing is attended with a dead weight or resistance, very different from that found in drawing a cart or waggon, and where, for lesseniog fri&tion, every spoke of their wheels acts with the powerful