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vast numbers both for the use of the inhabitants and as fresh provisions for ships' crews, they would degenerate into vermin. In this country the pig has usually two litters, or furrows, in a year, the breeding seasons being April and October; and the period the female goes with her young is about four months,—16 weeks or 122 days. The number produced at each litter depends upon the character of the breed; 12 being the average number in the small variety, and 10 in the large; in the mixed breeds, however, the average is between 10 and 15, and in some instances has reached as many as 20. But however few, or however many, young pigs there may be to the farrow, there is always one who is the dwarf of the family, circle, a poor, little, shrivelled, half-starved anatomy, with a small melancholy voice, a staggering gait, a woe-begone countenance, and a thread of a tail, whose existence the complacent mother ignores, his plethoric brothers and sisters repudiate, and for whose emaciated jaws there is never a spare or supplemental teat, till one of the favoured gormandizers, overtaken by momentary oblivion, drops the lacteal fountain, and gives the little squeaking straggler the chance of a momentary mouthful. This miserable little object, which may be seen bringing up the rear of every litter, is called the Tony pig, or the Anthony; so named, it is presumed, from being the one always assigned to the Church, when tithe was taken in kind; and as St. Anthony was the patron of husbandry, his name was given in a sort of bitter derision to the starveling that constituted his dues; for whether there are ten or fifteen furrows to the litter, the Anthony is always the last of the family to come into the world.
772. From The Grossness Of Hie Feeding, the large amount of aliment he consumes, his gluttonous way of eating it, from his slothful habits, laziness, and indulgence in sleep, the pig is particularly liable to disease, and especially indigestion, heartburn, and affections of the skin.
773. To Counteract The Consequence Of A Violation Of The Physical Laws, a powerful monitor in the brain of the pig teaches him to seek for relief and medicine. To open the pores of his skin, blocked up with mud, and excite perspiration, he resorts to a tree, a stump, or his trough— anything rough and angular, and using it as a currycomb to his body, obtains the luxury of a scratch and the benefit of cuticular evaporation; he next proceeds with his long supple snout to grub up antiscorbutic roots, cooling salads of mallow and dandelion, and, greatest treat of all, he stumbles on a piece .of chalk or a mouthful of delicious cinder, which, he knows by instinct, is the most sovereign remedy in the world for that hot, unpleasant sensation he has had all the morning at his stomach.
774. It Is A Remarkable Fact that, though every one who keeps a pig knows how prone he is to disease, how that disease injures the quality of the meat, and how eagerly he pounces on a bit of coal or cinder, or any coarse dry substance that will adulterate the rich food on which he lives, and by affording soda to his system, correct the vitiated fluids of his body,—yet very few have the judgment to act on what they see, and by supplying the pig with a few shovelfuls of cinders in his sty, save the necessity of his rooting for what is so needful to his health. Instead of this, however, and without supplying the animal with what its instinct craves for, his nostril is bored with a red-hot iron, and a ring clinched in his nose to prevent rooting for what he feels to be absolutely necessary for his health; and ignoring the fact that, in a domestic state at least, the pig lives on the richest of all food,—scraps of cooked animal substances, boiled vegetables, bread, and other items, given in that concentrated essence of aliment for a quadruped called wash, and that he eats to repletion, takes no exercise, and finally sleeps all the twenty-four hours he is not eating, and then, when the animal at last seeks for those medicinal aids which would obviate the evil of such a forcing diet, his keeper, instead of meeting his animal instinct by human reason, and giving him what he seeks, has the inhumanity to torture him by a ring, that, keeping up a perpetual "raw" in the pig's snout, prevents his digging for those corrective drugs which would remove the evils of his artificial existence.
775. Though Subject To So Many Diseases, no domestic animal is more easily kept in health, cleanliness, and comfort, and this without the necessity of "ringing," or any excessive desire of the hog to roam, break through his sty, or plough up his pound. Whatever the kind of food may be on which the pig is being fed or fattened, a teaspoonful or more of salt should always be given in his mess of food, and a little heap of well-burnt cinders, with occasional bits of chalk, should always be kept by the side of his trough, as well as a vessel of clean water; his pound, or the front part of his sty, should be totally free from straw, the brick flooring being every day swept out and sprinkled with a layer of sand. His lair, or sleeping apartment, should be well sheltered by roof and sides from cold, wet, and all changes of weather, and the bed made up of a good supply of clean straw, sufficiently deep to enable
. the pig to burrow his unprotected body beneath it. All the refuse of the garden, in the shape of roots, leaves, and stalks, should be placed in a corner of his pound or feeding-chamber, for the delectation of his leisure moments; and once a week, on the family washing-day, a pail of warm soap-suds should be taken into his sty, and, by means of a scrubbing-brush and soap, his back, shoulders, and flanks should be well cleaned, a pail of clean warm water being thrown over his body at the conclusion, before he is allowed to retreat to his clean straw to dry himself. By this means, the excessive nutrition of his aliment will be corrected, a more perfect digestion insured, and, by opening the pores of the skin, a more vigorous state of health acquired than could have been obtained under any other system.
776. We Have Already Said that no other animal yields man so many kinds and varieties of luxurious food as is supplied to him by the flesh of the hog differently prepared; for almost every part of the animal, either fresh, salted, or dried, is used for food; and even those viscera not so employed are of the utmost utility in a domestic point of view.
777. Though Destitute Of The Hide, Horns, And Hoofs, constituting the offal of most domestic animals, tho pig is not behind the other mammalia in its usefulness to man. Its skin, especially that of the boar, from its extreme closeness of texture, when tanned, is employed for the seats of saddles, to cover powder, shot, and drinking-flasks; and the hair, according to its colour, flexibility, and stubbornness, is manufactured into tooth, nail, and hairbrushes,—others into haf, clothes, and shoe-brushes ; while the longer and finer qualities are made into long and short brooms and painters' brushes; and a still more rigid description, under the name of "bristles," are used by the shoemaker as needles for the passage of his wax-end. Besides so many benefits and useful services conferred on man by this valuable animal, his fat, in a commercial sense, is quite as important as his flesh, and brings a price equal to the best joints in tho carcase. This fat is rendered, or melted out of the caul, or membrane in which it is contained, by boiling water, and, while liquid, run into prepared bladders, when, under the name of lard, it becomes an article of extensive trade arid value.
778. Of The Numerous Varieties Of The Domesticated Hog, the following list of breeds may be accepted as the best, presenting severally all those qualities aimed at in the rearing of domestic stock, as affecting both the breeder and the consumer. Native—Berkshire, Essex, York, and Cumberland; Foreign—the Chinese. Before, however, proceeding with the consideration of the different orders, in the series we have placed them, it will be necessary to make a few remarks relative to the pig generally. In the first place, the Black Pig is regarded by breeders as the best and most eligible animal, not only from the fineness and delicacy of the skin, but because it is less affected by the heat in summer, and far less subject to cuticular disease than either the white or brindled hog, but more particularly from its kindlier nature and greater aptitude to fatten.
779. The Great Quality First Sought For In A Hog is a capacious stomach, and next, a healthy power of digestion; for the greater the quantity he can eat, and the more rapidly he can digest what he has eaten, the more quickly will he fatten ; and the faster he can be made to increase in flesh, without a material increase of bono, the better is the breed considered, and the more valuable the animal. In the usual order of nature, the development of flesh and enlargement of bone proceed together; but here the object is to outstrip the growth of the bones by the quicker development of their fleshy covering.
780. The Chief Points Sought For In The Choice Of A Hog are breadth of chest, depth of carcase, width of loin, chine, and ribs, compactness
'of form, docility, cheerfulness, and general beauty of appearance. The head in a well-bred hog must not be too long, the forehead narrow and convex, cheeks full, snout fine, mouth small, eyes small and quick, ears short, thin, and sharp, pendulous, and pointing forwards; neck full and broad, particularly on the top, where it should join very broad shoulders; the *ibs, loin, and haunch should be in a uniform line, and the tail well set, neither too high nor too low; at the same time the back is to be straight or slightly curved, the chest deep, broad, and prominent, the legs short and thick; the belly, when well fattened, should nearly touch the ground, the hair be long, thin, fine, and having few bristles, and whatever the colour, uniform, either white, black, or blue ; but not spotted, speckled, brindled, or sandy. Such are the features and requisites that, among breeders and judges, constitute the beau idSal of a perfect pig.
781. The Berkshire Pig Is The Best Known And Most Esteemed of all our English domestic breeds, and so highly is it regarded, that even the
varieties of live stock are in as great estimation as the parent breed itself. The characteristics of the Berkshire hog are that it has a tawny colour, spotted with black, large ears hanging over the eyes, a thick, close, and well-made body, legs short and small in the bone; feeds up to a great weight, fattens quickly, and is good either for pork or bacon. The New or Improved Berkshire possesses all the above qualities, but is infinitely more prone to fatten, while the objectionable colour has been entirely done away with, being now either all white or completely black.
Co Next To The Former, The Essex takes place in public estimation, always competing, and often successfully, with the Berkshire. The peouliar characters of the Essex breed are that it is tipped, has a long sharp head, is roach-backed, with a long flat body, standing high on the legs; is rather bare
of hair, is a quick feeder, has an enormous capacity of stomach and belly, and an appetite to match its receiving capability. Its colour is white, or else black
and white, and it has a restless habit and an unquiet disposition. The present valuable stock has sprung from a cross between the common native animal and either the White Chinese or Black Neapolitan breeds,
783. The Yorkshire, Called Also The Old IiraooaatSHiRE, was at one time the largest stock of the pig family in England, and perhaps, at that time, the
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