Imagens das páginas

any case it ought to be nearly a year old. It may therefore be considered that Indian meal or Scotch oatmeal, both of which may always be procured from the corn-dealers, will be the best meal, unless the price of wheat-flour can be afforded, when the best red wheat should be coarsely ground and not dressed, and in this state made into biscuits or dumplings, or used to thicken the broth.

If Indian meal is employed, it must be mixed with the water or broth while cold, and then boiled for at least an hour, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning. If it is intended to mix oatmeal with the Indian meal, the former may be first mixed with cold water to a paste, and then stirred in after boiling the latter for three quarters of an hour; then boil another quarter, reckoning from the time that the contents of the copper came to the boiling point a second time.

Wheat-flour should be boiled from fifteen to twenty minutes, and

may be mixed with the oatmeal in the same way as the Indian meal.

Oatmeal pudding, and porridge, or stirabout, are made as follows; the first name being given to it when so thick as to bear the weight of the body after it is cold, and, the last two to a somewhat thinner composition. In any case the meal is stirred up with cold water to a thick paste, and, when quite smooth, some of the broth should be ladled out and added to it, still stirring it steadily. Then return the whole to the copper, and stir till it thickens, ladle out into coolers, and let it “set,” when it will cut with a spade and is quite solid. The directions as to length of time for the boiling of oatmeal vary a good deal, some preferring at least half an hour's boil, while others are content with ten or fifteen minutes, but for most purposes from a quarter to half an hour is the proper time, remembering that this is to be reckoned from the moment that the water boils.

The animal food used should be carefully selected to avoid infectious diseases, and the flesh of those creatures which have been loaded with drugs should also be avoided. Horseflesh, if death has been caused by accident, is as good as anything, and in many cases of rapid disease the flesh is little the worse, but though in foxhound kennels there is little choice, yet for greyhounds those horses which have been much drugged for lingering diseases, and those also which are much emaciated, are likely to do more harm than good. Slipped calves and lambs, as weil as beef and mutton, the result of death from natural causes, make an excellent change, but are seldom better than bad horseflesh. Still, as variety is essential to success in rearing, they should not be rejected. Flesh may be kept for a long time, even in summer, by brushing it over with a quicklime wash, or dusting it with the powder, and then hanging it up in trees with thick foliage, carefully watching the attacks of the flies, which will not blow in the lime. In this way I have kept the shank ends of legs and shoulders good for six weeks in the height of summer, and in winter for three months. Whatever this kind of food is composed of, it should be boiled, with the exception of paunches, which may be given raw,

but even they are better boiled, and I think an occasional meal of wellkept horseflesh is rather a good change. The flesh with the bones should be boiled for hours, till the meat is thoroughly done; then take it out and let it hang till cold, cut or strip it from the bones and mix with the puddings or stirabout according to the quantity required. The broth should always be used, as there are important elements of nutrition dissolved in it, which are absent in the boiled flesh. It is therefore necessary to make the puddings or stirabout with it, or to soak in it the biscuit, when this is the food selected. The bones should be given for the dogs to gnaw, together with any others from the house which can be obtained, but taking care to remove all fragments small enough for them to swallow whole. Bones should be given on grass or clean flags.

The comparatire ralue of the various articles of diet enumerated above, according to the authority of Liebig, is as follows :

[blocks in formation]

From this high authority it appears that barley-meal is superior both to wheat-flour and oatmeal in fat-making materials, but it is greatly inferior in muscle-making power, and hence, in dogs where fat is not required, it is of inferior value. Science and practical experiment here go hand in hand, as they always do when the former is based upon true premises. In cow's milk, which is the natural food of the young of the Mammalia, the proportion is 30 to 10, and this seems to be about what is required in mixing the animal and vegetable food. Now by adding equal weights of wheat-meal and lean horseflesh, we obtain exactly the same proportions within the merest trifle; thus

[blocks in formation]

being equal to 10 of muscle-making to 30} of fat-making matter; and this is practically the proportion of animal food to meal which best suits the dog's stomach and general system. The reader is not to suppose that a dog is to be fed on equal parts of cooked meat and puddings, but of raw meat and dry meal, which when both are boiled would, by the loss of juice in the flesh and the absorption of water in the meal, become converted into about two quantities by weight of pudding to one of cooked meat. Even this proportion of flesh is a large one for growing dogs which have not much exercise, but those which are “at walk" or which have their liberty in any situation will bear it. Most people prefer a much smaller proportion of meat, especially for hounds, pointers, setters, and spaniels, which depend on their nose, this organ being supposed to be rendered less delicate by high feeding. From long experience in this matter, however, I am satisfied that, while the health is maintained in a perfect state, there is no occasion to fear the loss of nose, and that such may be avoided with the above diet I am confident from actual practice. At the same time it must not be forgotten that all dogs so fed require a great supply of green vegetables, which should be given once or twice a week during the summer, without which they become heated, and throw out an eruption as a proof of it, the nose also being hot and dry. Green cabbage, turnip-tops, turnips, nettle-tops, or carrots, as well as potatoes, may all be given with advantage boiled and mixed with the meal and broth, in which way they are much relished.

Greaves, bought at the chandler's, and consisting of the refuse of the fat melted to make tallow, make a very common article for flavouring the meal of sporting dogs of all kinds. Beyond this they have little value, but they certainly afford some degree of nourishment, and are not altogether to be despised. They are boiled in water first till soft, and then mixed with the meal to form the stirabout or pudding. With oatmeal they form a good food enough for pointers and setters, as they are not so heating as flesh.

The quantity by weight which is required by the growing puppy daily of such food as the above, is from a twelfth to one-twentieth of the weight of its body, varying with the rapidity of growth, and a good deal with the breed also. Thus a 12 lb. dog will take from five-eights of a pound to a pound, and a 36 lb. dog from two pounds to three pounds. When they arrive at full growth, more

« AnteriorContinuar »