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U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)



Knowledge of animal management required			7-5
Nomenclature						7-6
Identification						7-7
Duties of officers charged with care of animals		7-8
Rules for handling animals				7-9
Stables and corrals					7-10
Grooming						7-11
Forage							7-12
Principles of feeding					7-13
Watering						7-14
Conditioning						7-15
Management of animalson the march			7-16
First-aid treatment					7-17
Communicable diseases					7-18
Care of the feet					7-19
Veterinary supplies					7-20

7-5. Knowledge of animal management required.-Successful handling of animals in the field demands at least a limited knowledge of the basic principles of animal management. This subject includes a general study of the framework and structure of the horse and mule, the colors and markings, feeding and watering, grooming, conditioning, first-aid treatment of diseases and injuries and care of the animal's feet.

7-6. Nomenclature.-a. The regions of the horse and mule are shown in Plate No. 1 (p. 4).

b. The principal bones and joints of a horse and mule are shown in plate No.2 (p.5).

c. All officers and noncommissioned officers charged with the handling of animals should be thoroughly familiar with the matter contained in these 2 plates as they constitute what might be called the "nomenclature" of the military animal. All members of regularly organized mounted detachments and men in charge of pack animals shouldbe instructed in this "nomenclature."

7-7. Identification.-a. There are certain prominent and permanent characteristics by which an animal may be identified. These characteristics are, color, markings, and height. A proper execution of the animal descriptive card (Form NMC 790) required by article 21-2, MCM., necessitates a familiarity with these characteristics.

Plate 1 - Regions of the horse and mule

b. The colors of horses and mules are shown below:

(1) Black is applied to the coat of uniform black hairs.

(2) Chestnut is a medium golden color.

(3) Bay is a reddish color of medium shade. Black points.

(4) Brown is the color of the coat almost rusty black and distinguished therefrom by the reddish coloration around the nostrils, elbows, flanks.

(5) Gray is applied to a coat of mixed white and dark colored hairs, equal in numbers.

(6) Mouse is an ash gray shade resembling the color of the mouse.

(7) White is all absence of pigment. Skin is white.

Plate 2 - Bones and joints of the horse and mule

(8) Roan is applied to a coat composed of red, white, and black usually red and white on body with black mane and tail.

(9) Buckskin is applied to a coat of uniform yellowish colored hairs.

(10) Piebald is applied to the coat divided into patches of white and black only.

(11) Pied Black, Pied Bay, and Pied Roan are terms used to designate the patched coats of white and black, white and bay, or white and roan. If the color other than white predominates, the term pied should follow the predominating color, as black pied, bay pied, or roan pied.

(12) Dapple is prefixed to the designation of any color when spots lighter or darker about the size of a silver dollar overlay the basic color.

c. The following are the principal white or other contrasting hair markings found on horses and mules:

(1) White Hairs is a term used to designate a few white hairs on the forehead, at the junction of the neck and withers, on the shoulders, the coronet, over the eyes, etc.

(2) Star designates a small, clearly defined area of white hairs on the forehead.

(3) Race designates a narrow stripe down the face, usually in the center and further described as "short" when it does not reach the nose.

(4) Snip designates a white mark between the nostrils.

(5) Blaze designates a broad splash of white down the face. It is intermediate between a Race and White Face.

(6) White Face means that the face is white from forehead to muzzle.

(7) Silver Mane and Tail designates the reflection of white in these appendages.

(8) White Pastern means that the white extends from coronet to and including the pastern.

(9) Quarterstocking means that the white hairs extend from coronet to and including the fetlock.

(10) Halfstocking designates that the leg is white from the coronet to an inch or two above the fetlock.

(11) Three-Quarterstocking means that the white hairs extend to midway between fetlock and knee or hock.

(12) Full Stocking designates the leg white to or including the knee or hock.

(13) Cowlick is a term applied to a tuft of hair presenting an inverse circular growth. They are permanent distinguishing characteristics, which should be recorded.

(14) Black Points means black mane, tail, and extremities.

(15) Ray designates the dark line found along the back of some horses, and many mules.

(16) Cross designates the dark line over the withers from side to side.

(17) Zebra Marks designates the dark, horizontal stripes seen upon the forearm, the knee, and the back of the cannons.

d. The height of horses and mules is expressed in "hands." A hand is 4 inches. The animal is measured by first placing him on level footing and causing him to stand squarely on all 4 feet. The perpendicular distance from the highest point of the withers to the ground is then measured with a stick that is graduated in hands and inches.

7-8. Duties of officers charged with care of animals.-a. Officers having animals attached to their units should keep them in such training and health as will enable them to do their work to the best advantage. This requires careful instruction of the men in the treatment, watering, feeding, grooming and handling of animals, and such continuous supervision and inspection by officers as will insure that these instructions are understood and carried out.

b. Officers in charge of animals should know the symptoms and treatment of common diseases, first aid treatment of injuries and should be familiar with the principles of horseshoeing. This information can be obtained from TM 2100-40, "The Horseshoer."

7-9. Rules for handling animals.-a. All men connected with the care and handling of animals must be taught, and must thoroughly understand, the following rules for the care of animals:

(1) Animals require gentle treatment. Cruel or abusive treatment reduces the military value of animals by making them difficult to handle.
(2) When going up to till animal speak to him gently, then approach quietly.
(3) Never punish an animal except at the time he commits an offense, and then only in a proper manner-never in anger.
(4) Never kick an animal, strike him about the head, or otherwise abuse him.
(5) Never take a rapid gait until the animal has been warmed by gentle exercise.
(6) Animals that have become heated by work should not be allowed to stand still but should he cooled down gradually by walking.
(7) Never feed grain or fresh grass to an animal when heated. Hay will not hurt a heated animal.
(8) Never water an animal when heated unless the march or exercise is to be immediately resumed.
(9) Animals must be thoroughly groomed after work.

7-10. Stables and corrals.-Stables need not be providedin tropical climates, if some type of shed is available for protection from rain. If stables are used, they should be well ventilated, but without draughts. Stalls should be so constructed that the animals can lie down in comfort. Stables must be well drained, and stable yards and corrals must be so situated that even heavy rains will drain off. Sand is a good standing for animals, either in stalls or corrals. A corral should have a strong fence and gate, and have some shade, either natural or artificial, at all hours of the day. A manger should be provided if grain is to be fed. It is highly desirable to have water available at all times in corrals.

7-11. Grooming.-a. Thorough and efficient daily grooming has a very close relation to the good condition which is so essential in animals being used in military operations. Proper grooming aids greatly in maintaining the skin of the animal in a healthy condition, prevents parasitic skin diseases and infections, and reduces to a great extent the incidence of saddle sores.

b. The following points are important in the proper grooming of animals:

(1) The currycomb should not be used on the legs from the knees and hocks downward, nor above the head.
(2) First use the currycomb on one side of the animals beginning at the neck, then chest, shoulders, foreleg clown to the knees, then back, flank, belly, loins and rump, the hind leg down to hock. Proceed in similar manner on the other side.
(3) Next brush the animal in the same order as when currycomb was used except that in brushing legs go down to the hoof.
(4) In using the brush, stand well away from the animals, keep the arm stiff, and throw the weight of the body against the brush.
(5) The value of grooming is dependent upon the force with which the brush is used and the thoroughness of the work.
(6) Wet animals should be dried before grooming.
(7) The feet should be cleaned and the shoes examined.
(8) Sponge out the eyes, nose, and dock.
(9) Officers and noncommissioned officers should, by continual and personal supervision, see that the grooming is properly done.

7-19. Forage.-Forage can be conveniently divided into two classes; roughage, including such types as hay, grass, sugarcane tops, leaves of trees, etc., and grain, including such as oats, corn, and Kaffir corn. Grain is not necessary to the animal's existence if he is doing no work, but for military animals is a concentrated energy-producing food, which enables the animal to do the sustained work required of him. It requires much more time for a horse or mule to eat enough grass or hay to support life and keep in condition than if the roughage is supplemented with a reasonable amount of grain. An economical method of feeding is to make the fullest possible use of pasture. Bulk is an essential for the diet of horses and mules. Concentrated foods, no matter how nourishing, cannot alone maintain an animal in condition. An unlimited supply of grain cannot take the place of roughage.

7-13. Principles of feeding.-a. The following principles of feeding are the results of long experience and should be adhered to as closely as the circumstances will permit:

(1) Water before feeding.
(2) Feed in small quantities and often. The stomach of the horse and mule is small in comparison with the rest of the digestive tract and therefore cannot digest large feedings. Three or more feedings a day are desirable.
(3) Do not work hard after a full feed.
(4) Do not feed a tired horse a full feed. Failure to observe this principle frequently results in the most severe colic, in laminitis (feed founder), or both.
(5) Feed hay before grain. This is not necessary for the first feeding in the morning because hay has been available all night and has therefore taken the edge off the animal's hunger.

7-14. Watering.-a. The following rules for watering should be adhered to:

(1) In corrals it is desirable that animals should have free access to water at all times. If this is impossible animals should be watered morning, noon, and evening.
(2) Water before feeding, or not until 2 hours after feeding.
(3) Animals may be watered while at work but, if hot, they should be kept moving until cooled off.
(4) On the march the oftener the animals are watered the better, especially as it is not usually known when another watering place will be reached.
(5) In camp, where water is animals must be watered above the place designated for bathing and for washing clothes.
(6) Animals should be watered quietly and without confusion.

7-15. Conditioning.-a. Coudition as applied to animals used for military purposes means health, strength, and endurance sufficient to perform without injury the work required of them.

b. Good hard condition is the best preventive against loss of animals from any causes except accidental injury. The importance of proper conditioning cannot be overestimated. More animals are incapacitated or die in military operations from lack of proper conditioning than from any other cause. This is especially true in those countries where native animals are procured locally. As a general rule, such horses or mules are of the grass-fed variety accustomed to working 1 day and grazing the next 3 or 4 days.

c. There is only one way to condition animals, whether they are required for riding, pack, or for draft. The only method is a judicious combination of sufficient good feed, and healthful work, continued over an extended period. The transformation of fat, flabby flesh into hard, tongh muscle cannot be forced. A regular program of graduated work is the only way to accomplish it. Some animals require longer periods of conditioning than others depending upon their age and the amount of previous work they have performed. Individual attention to each animal is required in conditioning. All work should be light at first and gradually increased.

7-16. Management of animals on the march.-a. Without condition, it is impossible for animals to undergo the fatigue and exertion incident to any prolonged effort. When military necessity requires the marching of uncondition animals, unless the situation is such as to override all thought of loss, the space and time must be comparatively short, otherwise exhaustion, sore backs, and sore shoulders will shortly incapacitate the majority of the animals and the mobility and efficiency of the unit will be very greatly reduced. From the viewpoint of the animal's welfare, the length of the march is to be estimated not only in miles but also with regard to the number of hours that the load has to be carried. This latter consideration is frequently the more important of the two. Particularly does this latter consideration apply to pack animals. The advance of a column in small wars is sometimes as slow as 1 mile an hour and even less. Under such circumstances a short march may, in reality, demand extreme endurance of the animals in the column.

b. Prior to starting, a special inspection of the saddles, packs, harness, and shoeing should be made to insure that till is in order. After the halt for the night all animals and equipment should be inspected, necessary treatment and repairs made, and all gear placecl in order so as not to delay the hour of starting in the morning.

c. With any considerable number of animals in the column, it is seldom advisable to start before daylight except for purely military reasons. In the dark, feeding and watering cannot be satisfactorily handled; saddles, packs, and harness may not be properly adjusted and it is practically impossible to properly inspect the adjustment of equipment. Many sore backs will result from saddle blankets and pads being improperly folded in the darkness. Night marches, with any considerable nurnlvr of animals in the column, will prove most difficult and unsatisfactory unless the personnel is thoroughly experienced in handling, saddling, bridling, and in packing animals.

d. A first halt should be made after being under way for ten (10) or fifteen (15) minutes to allow men and animals to relieve themselves. At this time, equipment is adjusted, the girths tightened and an inspection made to insure that the saddles, packs, and harness are all correct. This halt is most important, especially for the purpose of rechecking the saddling and packing. Subsequently a short halt of about 5 minutes should be made hourly. At each halt each man should look over his animal, examining the feet and the adjustment of animal equipment and loads. Noncommissioned officers should be indoctrinated to enforce this inspection.

e. Animals should be watered within reason whenever an opportunity occurs, especially on hot days. The principle of watering before feeding is of course adhered to on the march but, if a stream is crossed an hour after feeding, they may again be allowed to drink if circumstances permit the delay. Bits, especially the curb, should be removed when it is intended to give a full watering. While watering, overcrowding must be prevented, and plenty of time given every animal to drink his fill. Groups of animals should come up to the watering place together and leave together. If they are moved away individually, others cease drinking and try to follow them. At the end of the day's march it is best to relieve the animals of the weight of their equipment without delay and before watering.

f. Feeding of animals on the march in small wars has always been a difficult problem. On an extended march it is very difficult to keep animals in condition. The problem of providing sufficient forage requires constant attention and is one that will tax the ingenuity of the leader of any column containing a considerable number of animals. The first step in the solution of this problem is to indoctrinate thoroughly the marine in the principle that the animal under his care is going to suffer if he does not think of and for his animal on all occasions. It must become a matter of simple routine for him to care for his animal at every possible opportunity. At every halt, if it is at all possible, he must permit his animal to graze. Many standing crops provide excellent filler and may be used for feeding the animals, or if circumstances permit, a sufficient quantity may be cut and carried to provide for the next halt.

g. Feed bags should be provided for animals for the purpose of feeding grain on the march. The feeding of grain from the ground is not only highly wasteful but is the frequent cause of severe colic. These bags can be used for carrying grain on the march by filling them and securing the open end. They are generally carried attached to the pommel of the saddle on riding animals and as a top load on pack animals. A supply of corn or other grain along the trail should never be passed without. refilling the empty feed bags. With the feed bag, the principle of feeding little and often can be adhered to with greater facility. The best type for military use is that at present issued by the Army. If no feed bags are available they should be improvised from canvas or other durable material.

h. It frequently will be possible to halt for the night at places where small enclosed pastures are available. If such be the case the animals should be permitted to graze throughout the night. It, will, of course, be necessary to provide an adequate pasture guard to prevent the seizure or destruction of the animals in case of a night attack. When possible a site within or adjacent to a suitable enclosed pasture should be selected. Otherwise ground flat enough to provide level standing for a suitable length of picket line should be selected. Marshy ground should be avoided if possible. A nearby water supply suitable for men and animals is essential. It should be as near the camp as possible but some sacrifice may have to be made in this respect in order to occupy a position suitable for night defense. In some areas it will not be possible to graze animals at night. In such cases some form of restraint must be used.

i. The most satisfactory method of securing animals at night is to secure them to a picket line raised 3 or 4 feet above the ground. This line should be stretched out between trees suitably spaced or between other suitable supports. After the animals have been secured to the picket line it is essential that a man be kept on watch to prevent the animals from becoming entangled and injuring themselves. Hay, tall grasses, sugarcane, etc., should be procured and placed within reach of the animals along the line as it will make them stand more quietly and provide them with nourishment.

7-17. First-aid treatment.-a. The evidence indicates that in small wars casualties among animals have occurred in the following order of frequency:

(1) Wounds and injuries. (Pack and saddle injuries account for most of these.)
(2) Loss or want of condition and exhaustion.
(3) Intestinal diseases. (Colic.)
(4) Contagious diseases.

b. Loss or want of condition, and pack and saddle injuries, account for the bulk of the losses in small wars. These are to a large extent preventable. While the animal is fit and in condition, hardship and exertion can be borne without injury, but the unconditioned animal soon becomes unfit and a handicap because of injury or disease. The prevention of injuries and disease is far more important than their treatment. And particularly so as there are no veterinarians available. Injuries and emergency cases must be dealt with in a commonsense manner. If veterinary service is obtainable it should be utilized.

c. The healthy animal stands with the forefeet square on the ground; one hind foot is often rested naturally. The pointing, or resting of one forefoot or the constant shifting of the weight on the forefeet indicates a foot or leg ailment. The pulse of the healthy animal is thirty-six (36) to forty (40) beats per minutes; the respiration at rest nine (9) to twelve (12) per minute; the temperature ninety-nine (99) to one hundred (100) degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is taken by placing a clinical thermometer in the rectum for about three (3) or five (5) minutes. The droppings of the healthy animal should be well formed but soft enough to flatten when dropped.

d. Loss of appetite, elevation of temperature, accelerated breathing, listlessness, dejected countenance, stiffness, profuse sweating, nasal discharge, cough, diarrhea, pawing, excessive rolling, lameness, reluctance to move, and loss of hair or intense itching are some of the most common indications of disease.

e. Pressure on the back will often cause swellings, which by further rubbing and pressure become open sores. While unbroken, swellings may be cured by removing the pressure and soaking with cold water packs. If the animal is to work, fold or cut away the saddle pad so that the place is left free. If open, saddle sores, like other wounds, must be kept clean and flies kept out of them.

f. Wounds will heal naturally if they are kept clean and well drained. Almost any grease that is unappetizing to flies will help to heal the wound. Screwworms and maggots, the larval form of certain flies, are frequently found in wounds. Lard with a little sulphur mixed in it is usually available. If the ingredients can be obtained, the following mixture will keep the flies out of wounds:

1/2 ounce creolin.
1 ounce linseed oil (or oil of tar).
10 ounces olive oil (or salad oil).

If close inspection shows the presence of worms or maggots, or if there is a thin reddish discharge from the wound or sore, the following treatment is indicated: swab out thoroughly with a soft cotton swab dipped in creolin. The edges and especially the lower edge where the wound drains should be greased, to prevent burning by the creolin or the spreading of the sore by the discharges coming in contact with the skin. This treatment will kill the worms or maggots and they will slough off with the dead flesh. All wounds should have some opening through which they may drain, at the lowest point in the wound, and grease should be used to prevent the drain causing running sores. Pus in the feet is drained off through the sole, and treated like any other wound.

g. Colic is the term given to the symptoms shown by animals with abdominal pains. This pain may be caused by any of numerous conditions. The predisposing causes are: small size of stomach compared to the size of the animal and capacity of digestive tract, and inability of the animal to vomit. The chief exciting causes of colic are:

(1) Over feeding.
(2) Feeding or watering exhausted animals.
(3) Feeding wilted grass.
(4) Sudden changes of food.
(5) Working hard after a full feed.
(6) Lack of sufficient water.
(7) Eating hay or grain on sandy soil.
(8) Eating mouldy hay or grain.
(9) Eating green grain.
(10) Intestinal tumors, abscesses, etc.

h. The symptoms of colic are uneasiness, increased perspiration depending upon the degree of pain, pulse and respiration accelerated, pawing, turning head towards flanks, lying down, sometimes rolling and rising frequently, and excessive distension of abdomen.

i. A compliance with the principles of feeding and watering as set forth in this section will reduce the incidence of colic to a minimum. Prevention is far more important than treatment, and therefore it is most important that the principles of feeding and watering be adhered to closely. Military necessity may sometimes prevent a strict adherence to these principles.

j. Bed down a space with hay or dry grass and tie the animal with just enough shank to allow him to lie down comfortably. In ordinary cases give one aloes ball or the following drench: raw linseed oil one ( 1) pint, turpentine one ( 1 ) ounce; if not relieved repeat the drench in 1 hour. Induce the animal to drink but withhold food until the acute symptoms subside.

k. Any ordinary long-necked bottle properly wrapped to protect it from breaking may be used in giving a drench. The animal's head should be raised until the mouth is just slightly higher than the throat to provide a gravity flow to the throat. The neck of the bottle is inserted in the side of the mouth and a small amount of the drench administered. This must be swallowed before more is administered. Repeated small amounts are administered in this way until the required amount has been given. If the animal coughs or chokes his head should be immediately lowered to prevent strangling.

7-18. Communicable diseases.-a. Prevention is again the prime aim. Proper conditioning and seasoning, plenty of wholesome food, good grooming, and protection from undue exposure to the elements and mud, keep the animals strong and in such a state of health that they can resist considerable exposure to infection. When a disease appears among a group of animals, there are certain rules of procedure that have been found absolutely necessary in checking the spread to healthy animals and in stamping out the disease. These measures are:

(1) Daily inspection of all animals in order to detect new cases. This insures the prompt removal of the sick as a source of infection and the initiation of the proper treatment or destruction.
(2) Quarantine of exposed animals.
(3) Isolation of sick animals.
(4) Disinfection of infected premises, equipment, and utensils.

b. The treatment of the various communicable diseases of the horse and mule are beyond the scope of this chapter.

7-19. Care of the feet.-Animals that have to travel over hard and stony roads should be shod, at least in front, to prevent excessive wear of the horn of the hoof. On soft going and in pasture, shoeing is neither necessary nor desirable. Shoes should be flat, without talks, and should fit the outline of the hoof. When the hoof wears too much, the animal goes lame, but a rest in pasture allows the hoof to grow again. Shoes left on too long do not permit the natural growth and wear of the hoof, and they should be removed from animals which are expected to remain out of service for a considerable time. A properly fitted shoe allows the animal to stand flat on a level floor without strain.Neither commercial sheers nor members of the detachment should be allowed to cut away any of the sole or frog or to rasp or trim the outer surface of the hoof. The thick callous of the frog and sole protects the animal's foot from bruises, and the compression of the frog circulates the blood through the foot. The natural varnish of the outside of the hoof retains the moisture in the hoof, and keeps it from rotting. Hoofs should be cleaned out at grooming time and before starting out, to make sure that there are no stones or small sticks caught in the hoof between the frog and the sole. Feet should be inspected by riders and drivers at each halt. 7-20. Veterinary supplies.-Standard surgical and medical supplies for the treatment of common ailments are obtained by requisition to the quartermaster or in emergencies from the medsical department, (See art. 21-5, MCM.) In small wars where any considerable number of animals is employed, it is highly desirable that Stable Sergeant's Veterinary Chests, supplied by the Medical Department, U.S. Army, be requisitioned in sufficient number. These chests are quite complete and contain sufficient medicines and instruments for all ordinary veterinary cases.

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