The use of oxen in the plough seems to be rather increasing, though the proportion is very small in comparison with horses. The native horses are lively, active, hardy, and well adapted to the uses of the farmer: few are bred in the county; of English breeds the Suffolk is most in request. The attention paid to the breeding of cattle is inferior to that of the adjoining counties of Carlow and Waterford, and some parts of Tipperary: the common breed is a cross between the old Irish and Lancashire, and some districts have the old native cow. Some noblemen and gentlemen have a superior kind, being a cross between the Irish and Durham; and crosses between the Irish and Devon and Ayrshire and Durham breeds appear to suit both the soil and climate. But those that attain the largest size are a cross between the Limerick and Durham, which fatten speedily and weigh well. The little Kerry cow is much sought after in some of the dairy districts, in which it improves much, and when crossed with the Ayrshire is very profitable to the small farmer.

The breed of sheep is generally little improved; the New Leicester and Ayrshire breeds are found in the lawns and demesnes of some gentlemen, but are comparatively few in number. Pigs have been greatly improved by the introduction of the Berkshire and other superior breeds. In all the minor departments of rural economy, except the rearing of poultry, the farmers are very deficient. The fences generally are very indifferent, principally consisting of an old broad mound of earth (called a ditch), with a deep and broad trench on one or both sides, or of dry and broken stone walls, except in the immediate neighbourhood of Kilkenny or on the farms of gentlemen, where in many instances quickset hedges show to great advantage: the parks and demesnes are mostly enclosed with high stone walls. The county is very deficient in woods and plantations, although there are some of considerable extent around Kilkenny, Durrow, Desart, Woodstock, Besborough, Castlecomer, Thomastown, and other places on the banks of the Nore. Callan and its neighbourhood, once so celebrated for its extensive woods, is now denuded; but from Kilkenny to Callan the fences appear better and the land more judiciously divided than in other parts. Planting is by no means general, except around demesnes. An agricultural society, the first midland society formed, has been long established, of which, perhaps, the most beneficial result is the improvement of agricultural implements, which has been accomplished to a considerable degree.

Kilkenny, County of | Kilkenny Baronies | Kilkenny Soil | Kilkenny Topography | Kilkenny Agriculture | Kilkenny Geology | Kilkenny Colleries | Kilkenny Manufactures | Kilkenny Rivers | Kilkenny Antiquities | Kilkenny Castles | Kilkenny Social History | Kilkenny Springs | Kilkenny, City of

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