Medieval History Term of the Week: Husbandry


1) the cultivation and production of edible crops or of animals for food; agriculture; farming.
2) the science of raising crops or food animals.

From Walter of Henly on Animal Husbandry, c. 1275:

Sort out your cattle once a year between Easter and Whitsuntide—that is to say, oxen, cows, and herds—and let those that are not to be kept be put to fatten; if you lay out money to fatten them with grass you will gain. And know for truth that bad beasts cost more than good. Why? I will tell you. If it be a draft beast he must be more thought of than the other and more spared, and because he is spared the others are burdened for his lack. And if you must buy cattle buy them between Easter and Whitsuntide, for then beasts are spare and cheap. And change your horses before they are too old and worn out or maimed, for with little money you can rear good and young ones, if you sell and buy in season. It is well to know how one ought to keep cattle, to teach your people, for when they see that you understand it they will take the more pains to do well.

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