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It is upwards of twenty years since a fork for unloading hay by horse-power was used in this country. The implement has, however, undergone various modifications, and in some of the forms in which it is now made, is superior to the kind first invented. Palmer's, herewith represented, has been extensively used, and receives general commendation. At the farm attached to the Michigan State Agricultural College, one was used last year, with results entirely satisfactory. A general idea in regard to the manner in •which these forks are made, and the way in which they are used, may be obtained from the cuts and the accompanying description. One of £he figures represents the mode of using the fork in stacking hay, and the others show the form of the
fork, and its position when loaded and when discharged. The manufacturers, in their descriptive advertisements, say:
"With the pulleys furnished with the fork, it can be rigged to deposit the hay in any part of the mow by simply pulling a small cord. It is equally adapted for stacking. The handle being short, is out of the way in going over or under the beams, through windows, &c. The bale and brace being made of wrought iron, and the tines of steel, and sickle-shaped, it is very strong and durable, and will hold as much as a horse can draw. The bale folding to the handle when the hay is discharged, it occupies less room to work it than any other. The head of this fork is protected by our patent self-tightening bands, through which the tines pass, making it impossible to break. Although very strong, it is small and compact, and can be used by a boy. It will take off a load of hay, ordinarily, in three to six minutes."
E. B. Powell, of Detroit, is the agent for the sale of this fork, and rights to use it, for the State of Michigan.
SWINE—CHAEACTERISTICS OF BREEDS, &c.
BY SANFORD HOWARD.
Geological researches have proved that the Hog is one of the most ancient of mamniiferous animals. His fossilized bones have been found in various places, associated with those of the Mastodon, Dmotherium, and other animals long since extinct. An able zoologist (Martin) observes: "Of the identity of these bones with those of the ordinary wild hog, all doubt has been removed by the most rigorous comparisons." The same writer remarks: "It were useless to ask how it is that, while the Mammoth and the Mastodon, the Urus, the huge Eed Deer, Hyenas, enormous Bears, and powerful feline animals, have perished in times geologically recent, the wild hog continued its race. We cannot solve the mystery. It has escaped the fate of these animals, its contemporaries, whatever might have been the cause of their own annihilation, and though no longer a tenant of our island [Britain] it is spread throughout a great portion of Europe and Asia."
The hog is not a native of America. The South American peccary, though of the same order, belongs to a different genus. But in the uncultivated parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, the wild hog has existed from time immemorial, and no less than eight species are enumerated by naturalists as inhabiting those countries at the present day.
The domestic hog was evidently derived from the wild, though it can hardly be supposed that any one species of the latter has been the parent of all the domestic breeds. On the contrary, the great diversity of characters which the domesticated animal presents in different countries, is probably owing in a great degree to its affinity with various original stocks. Experiments,~~-particulaiiy those made under the direction of t1ae Zoological Society of London, and the Society of Acclimation of Paris,—have shown that several of the wild species will interbreed, that the wild species will breed with all domestie varieties, and that the offspring of all these crosses will readily amalgamate—the progeny continuing to be prolific.
The subjugat d animal is, however, very different in disposition and instincts, from his untamed ancestor. The common hog is as d< pendent as most other domestic animals. In his natural state, on the contrary, he is sagacious, bold and independent. When of mature age, and in full possession of all his faculties, he acknowledges no superior, and will not turn from his path for the proudest beast of the forest. Even the tiger and lion have found themselves unable to withstand his furious charge, and have been laid in the dust never to rise again by wounds from bis formidable tusks.
But the domestic hog soon regains many of the primitive habits of the race, when allowed his liberty in situations where he can supply himself with food. The semi-wild character of the "woods hog" of our Southern and Western States, shows this. Even in his ordinary bondage, he is by no means the etupid and senseless animal which some have imagined him. He frequently manifests considerable intelligence, and his intellect is susceptible of great development. Everybody has heard of "learned pigs," some of which, besides performing other tricks, would spell out various names by arranging letters of the alphabet. Pigs may also be taught to defend themselves against other animals. An advertisement appeared not long since, announcing that a '* fighting pig," weighing forty pounds, would be matched against any dog without regard to size.
A more extraordinary instance of the education of this animal, is that of the "sporting pig," described in Banters Rural Sports. This animal, a,black sow, called Slut, was acutally, according to the account, broke to find and stand game, like a pointer dog. She was of the sort of swine which run in the New Forest (England), where they chiefly obtain their support She was trained by the brothers Toomer, game-keepers to Sir