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Victorian Farming

(8 posts)

  1. Hi All,
    I have been sent an email from David who is writing a short story set in the early 19th century on a small farm in Devon. It is a mixed farm and I am trying to establish what winter food would have been used/available in those times for a variety of livestock.

    I know that:-

    turnips fed to cattle and sheep.
    hay to cattle and sheep
    oats for horses
    oats straw to suckler cows
    chaff from wheat to cattle
    clover was a fodder crop
    pigs fed on scraps, peelings and pan scrapings

    Any more thoughts on this let me know.
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. Hi All,

    Asked about this on my farmingfriends on twitter page and found out

    Winter feeds: mangolds, hay and grains, mainly barley, and oats for horses from

    Swedes,manglewurzels,turnips. Have a look at Charles ‘Turnip’ Townshend and his four-course system and 'High-Farming' from

    On the Stiperstones they used the non prickly tops of the ancient holly trees when snowbound for animal feed from there are some interesting historical farming books at this link FYI :-) from

    Isn't social media great!
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. Hi sara

    I was going to say mangolds - having spent many hours turning the handle of the root chopper! Although we did feed mangolds whole to the cattle & enjoyed fishing out our favourite shapes and colours - always a competition to find the best mangold!
    Pea haulm and beech nuts & oak leaves can be added to your list!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. Hi TopVeg,
    Thanks for your response. I have not heard of mangolds until the last few days. I will pass this info onto David who is writing the story.
    What is pea haulm?
    I was watching Victorian Farm today and the sow had piglets but they didn't say what pigs ate in the Victorian period! I really like that programme as I love history and studied it to A level.
    Thanks for all your contributions to this forum.
    Happy new year.
    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. Hi Sara
    We know Pea haulm as all the greenery left from the peas when the pods have been removed.
    My cousin lived in the New Forest & there were 'Mast' rights with her house to allow pigs to forage for beech nuts & acorns during the season of pannage. But she did not have any pigs!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. Hi Topveg,
    Thanks for letting me know what pea haulm is. I have heard that pigs like acorns. It is interesting to hear about the Mast rights and the season of pannage.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. Hello again Sara

    Forgot to say we also called mangolds "mangold wurzels". Is that where worzel gummidge came from?


    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. Hi Topveg,
    I have just read that the television character Wurzel Gummidge had a set of interchangeable turnip, mangel worzel and swede heads, each of which suited a particular occasion or endowed him with a specific skill.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #

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