Book Review: Feeds and Feeding by Frank B. Morrison

I've got a decent bit of content lined up to post. With special thanks to George Wright of Castor River Farm, who wrote the following review:

photo of the 50th anniversary edition of the bookReviewed here: Feeds and Feeding: A Handbook for the Student and Stockman

by Frank B. Morrison Published by Morrison Publishing Company in 1959

Reviewed by George Wright

I picked this book up at a used book store for $5 dollars.  I did not realize how much it would become part of our farm.  This book turned out to be the bible of feeding animals.  Horses, mules, dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats, sheep, and swine are covered in extensive detail.  It was first published in 1898 and continued until 1950 with many editions, each incorporating the latest new research in the animal feeding research field.

My edition is over 1000 pages of beautiful, smooth paper with the classic glossy poster type photographs throughout the book.  It is broadly divided into the fundamentals, feeding stuffs, and the feeding  of the individual animals.  Each type of farm animal has its own chapter broken down into feeds, feeding, and general care.

What is most amazing about this information is the time and context in which it was produced.  The swine section in particular must have been written at around the time that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations were coming into popularity because the importance of pasture for pigs is repeated in almost every paragraph.  It is repeated so often it is almost comical considering pastured pork barely exists today.   Extensive research into which type of clover is best for pasturing pigs is and example of how unique this book is.

All information is presented in clear, concise detail. Extensive use of charts, graphs and photos deliver the information with wording that is simple to read for a scientific book.  All information is referenced to specific research.  There are even references to work being done at Canadian Research Centres with pigs on pasture in the winter in Ottawa! The only drawback is that poultry is not covered in the book.

Obtaining such pertinent research on actively pasturing animals from a 60- plus year old book is incredible.  History is amazing.  How arrogant we are to assume the latest and best information is found on the internet. I have collected thousands of books, and this is the only one I could not do without.  For example, six years ago our local grain port in Prescott rented out all their grain storage to a new Ethanol Plant just as we were shipping our grain.  Without storage we could not sell our grain.  We decided to spread it all back onto our fields.  We knew it would be good for the soil but the question was how to quantify.  Luckily, I searched Morrison’s and found a chart relating the protein level of grain relative to its individual NPK component levels.  This allowed us to figure out the fertilizer value of our wheat.

A book no person involved in husbandry can do without!