ON THE USE OF MULES
(From and old newspaper abstract)
- Mules, on a general average, live more than twice as long as horses. They are fit for service from three years old to thirty. At twelve, a horse has seen his best days and is going downhill, but a mule at that age has scarcely risen out of his colthood and goes on improving till he is twenty. Instances are recorded, of mules living sixty Or seventy years, but these are exceptions. The general rule is that they average thirty.
Mule Hale County, Alabama summer 1936 by Walker Evans (Library of Congress)
- Mules are never exposed to diseases as horses are. I have spent considerable time in studying the diseases of horses, from ring-bone up to poll evil. But who ever heard of a ring-boned, spavined, wind-broken mule? Immense sums of money are annually lost in the premature death of high-spirited horses by accident and disease. The omnibus lines in the city of New York have not been able to sustain their losses, and are beginning to use mules, as less liable by far even to accident as well as disease. This results from the next consideration, which is that—
- Mules have organs of vision and hearing far superior to those of the horse. Hence they seldom sheer, and frighten, and run off. A horse frightens because he imagines he sees something frightful, but a mule, having superior discernment, both by the eye and ear, understands everything he meets, and therefore is safe. For the same reason, he is surer-footed, and hence more valuable in mountainous regions and on dangerous roads. I doubt whether on the Alpine paths a mule ever made a misstep. He may have been deceived in the firmness of the spot where he set his foot, but not in the propriety of the choice all appearances considered.
Mule auctioneers. Montgomery, Alabama April 1939 by Marion Post Wolcott (Library of Congress)
- The mule is much more hardy than the horse. A pair of these animals, owned hy a neighbor of mine, although small in size, will plow more land in one week than four horses. In light harness or under the saddle, in hauling iron ore or on the turnpike before a Conestoga wagon, one mule in a life time will kill seven horses. Their faculty of endurance is almost incredible.
- Another very important fact is, that in the matter of food, a mule will live and thrive on less than one-half it takes to keep a horse. The horses of England, at this present time, are consuming grain which would save the lives of thousands of British subjects. A particular friend of mine, who has returned from a visit to Ireland, informed me a few days ago that, in the country of Antrim alone there were eight poor houses, containing from eight to nine hundred paupers each. Were the nobility disposed to substitute mules for horses, the grave might be cheated out of thousands of victims who starve to death for want of the grain that horses consume. In our country, however, the saving of grain is no object. In a national point of view, the agricultural interest is so great that the greater the demand for grain of all kinds the better for the farmer. But yet individual farmers, who are in debt and whose land is not improved, would find it profitable, in the course often years, to have the labor of full team and save one-half and more of the food necessary to keep it up as might be the case in substituting mules for horses.
ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Statehood: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 6) presents the times and conditions they faced in lost & forgotten stories which include:
- Who Controlled And Organized The New State of Alabama?
- Tuscaloosa Had Three Other Names
- Chandelier Falls & Capitol Burns
- Alabama Throws Parties For General LaFayette
- Francis Scott Key Was Sent to Alabama To Solve Problems