- Aug 2013
- Lorraine tudesque
We still have the tripartite house. Cattle and people under one roof.Milder climate: see Zimmermann's paper Favourable Conditions for Cattle Farming, "it is the milder climate and hence the great quantitiy of biomass even in winter" He proposes it in the first paragraph and hence my assumption that you haven't read it.
I even linked to the article Out-wintering of cattle which lists the benefits:
Reduced feeding and bedding costs providing there is some grazing available
Reduced housing requirements - may allow finishing of store cattle in housing. Reduced build-up of infection.
And includes a photo of cattle outwintering;
But you don't look at these things.
There is not a shadow of a doubt that in the milder regions and the suitable breeds, cattle can be outwintered, feeding on the available biomass, Hay is brought to the animals when the snow covers the ground but, as Bede writes, it rarely does so for more than three days. Bede also points out that the midler climate is favourable for cattle and that Britain, in some places produces vines. Much of Zimmermann's work was on the archaeology of farms, from the bronze age to the middle ages and he undertook many phosphate studies, used to identify where domesticated animals were kept.
Depending on what the breed is and where the farm is, there is enough biomass for cattle to be outwintered. There is no point in outwintering cattle if there isn't enough food, the farmer would be making extra work for himself if he had to constantly go out to cows to keep them fed. Hay is used as a supplement or when there is a lot of snow.
There was also a lot more forest cover during the anglo saxon period, ideal for shelter and foraging. In the terp areas on the north sea littoral, there was just marsh.
This is the oft cited terp village of Feddersen Wierde, humans and animals are confined to the man made mound.
An artists impression of the village life.
In such places, the animals are stalled in the same house as the people, in the so called tripartite long house. We tend not to find these in England and one reason may be that they were not necessary because animals could be outwintered and used to fertilise the arable field when the crops were harvested.
Lothringerhaus – Wikipedia