Page:Husbandman and Housewife 1820.djvu/130

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The external form of domestic animals has been much studied, and the proportions are well ascertained. But the external form is an indication of internal structure. The principles of improving it must therefore be founded on a knowledge of the structure and use of the internal parts.

Of these the lungs are of the first importance. It is on their size and soundness that the strength and health of an animal principally depends. The power of converting food into nourishment is in proportion to their size An animal with large lungs is capable of converting a given quantity of food into more nourishment than one with smaller lungs; and therefore has a greater aptitude to fatten.

Chest. The size and form of the chest indicate the size of the lungs, of which the form should approach to the figure of a cone having the apex situated between the shoulders and its base towards the loins: a circular form of chest is preferable to one deep and narrow, for though the latter may have greater girth, the former will have greater internal space in proportion.

The Pelvis. The Pelvis is the cavity formed by the junction of the hip bones with the rump bone. This cavity should be large in a female that she may be enabled to bring forth her young with less difficulty; when this cavity is small, the life of the mother and her offspring is endangered.

The size of the pelvis is indicated by the width of the hips, and the space between the thighs; the breadth of the loins is always in proportion to that of the chest and pelvis.

Head. The head should be small, by which the birth is facilitated to the offspring; it also indicates the