Farm animals first came to the frontier at La Charrette with the settlers. The title link tells of how the family and friends of Daniel Boone drove their cows and hogs from Kentucky aided by horses and dogs. All were essential. Horses were used for riding and clearing and cultivating the land. Oxen were also used as draft animals. They were considered stronger than horses but much slower. Cattle also furnished milk and meat. Sometimes mares milk was even consumed. Geese and chickens provided eggs and meat while hogs offered more variety as pork. All were free-roaming...allowed to graze the countryside for their food. Dogs assisted the settlers when hunting and in rounding up the livestock. The picture of an oxen pulling a plow on the Missouri frontier is from an article by C. L. Goodwin in volume 14 of the 1920 issue Missouri Historical Review. La Charrette landowner Charles Tayon harnessed his oxen with raw hide strips tied about the horns; not a yoke like the one shown here.
The relationship between frontiersmen and their horses, oxen, milk cows and dogs was intimate. All were given names and thought of a valued companions. This same symbiotic relationship continues today, most prominently for horses and dogs. Most of these domestic animals would be considered as 'scrub' livestock by standards of today. Generally they were smaller, in poor health and much less productive. To contrast the conditions described above with those of today and learn about exciting careers in the modern world of animal science proceed to http://animalscience.tamu.edu/ansc/facilities/klebergcenter.html This Texas A&M University facility was my academic home for most of 22 years when serving as a professor of animal science there.