Western Rifle Shooters Association

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Billy Beck: Endarkenment Trivia

From Billy Beck:

Endarkenment Trivia

"If we were to attempt to go back to horse powered farm production it would take something like 20 years to increase the horse population adequately and it requires about 1/3 of the farm capacity to feed them."
(Joe Huffman)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to set y'alls concern at ease...

Some folks could persuasively argue that America was built behind the ass end of an Ox - not a horse. What is an "Ox"? Its an adult steer. FYI - There were over 98 million head of cattle in the US in the year 2000 -- We have lots of cattle, thus lots of Ox! An Ox plus a bit a training, a stout piece of hard wood (for a yoke), a little hay, and you have an instant grass fed tractor. NO horse & mule feed required. Local grass and hay only.

February 28, 2011 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

I suggest that after the big die-off, you won't need 20yrs or as many horses, because the population will be decreased dramatically. Since the need will be great for foodstuffs, there is also the possibility that innovation and invention may intercede to prevent mass starvation. Sorry, didn't mean to rain on the funeral.

February 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Graybeard said...

From From Horse Power to Horsepower:
Before the invention of the car, transportation was largely by horse. There are a few problems associated with horse transportation that we don't think of today. Horses produce large amounts of horse manure and urine, and by the end of the 1800s, American cities were drowning in them. Horses would die and be left in the road, obstructing traffic. Flies and other vermin were omnipresent, spreading disease, and the stench was overwhelming. When it rained, streets turned into almost knee-deep swamps of wet manure. When it was dry, the manure dust would cloud the lungs of city residents. One New Yorker in the 1890s calculated that by 1930 the horse droppings would rise to Manhattan's third-story windows. In 1894, the Times of London estimated that by 1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. No one knew what to do. The horse had been the basis of human transportation forever.

Horses need to eat. According to one estimate each urban horse probably consumed on the order of 1.4 tons of oats and 2.4 tons of hay per year. One British farmer calculated that each horse consumed the product of five acres of land, a footprint which could have produced enough to feed six to eight people. Probably fifteen million acres were needed to feed the urban horse population at its zenith, an area about the size of West Virginia. Directly or indirectly, feeding the horse meant placing new land under cultivation, clearing it of its natural animal life and vegetation, and sometimes diverting water to irrigate it, with considerable negative effects on the natural ecosystem. Horse food had to be transported to the cities, requiring extensive infrastructure to support the effort. Trains ran on rails under steam power, but getting things to the trains and from them to their final destination required - you guessed it - horses.

March 1, 2011 at 1:21 AM  

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