Great Britain increase as they have done for 
some time past, its price may very probably 
rise still higher than it is at present. 
Between that period in the progress of improvement
which brings to its height the price 
of so necessary an article as cattle, and that 
which brings to it the price of such a superfluity 
as venison, there is a very long interval
in the course of which many other sorts of 
rude produce gradually arrive at their highest 
price, some sooner and some later, according 
to different circumstances
Thus, in every farm, the offals of the barn 
and stable will maintain a certain number of 
poultry. These, as they are fed with what 
would otherwise be lost, are a mere save-all; 
and as they cost the farmer scarce any thing
so he can afford to sell them for very little. 
Almost all that he gets is pure gain, and their 
price can scarce be so low as to discourage 
him from feeding this number. But in countries 
ill cultivated, and therefore but thinly 
inhabited, the poultry, which are thus raised 
without expense, are often fully sufficient to 
supply the whole demand. In this state of 
things, therefore, they are often as cheap as 
butcher's meat, or any other sort of animal 
food. But the whole quantity of poultry 
which the farm in this manner produces without 
expense, must always be much smaller 
than the whole quantity of butcher's meat 
which is reared upon it; and in times of 
wealth and luxury, what is rare, with only 
nearly equal merit, is always preferred to 
what is common. As wealth and luxury increase
therefore, in consequence of improvement 
and cultivation, the price of poultry gradually 
rises above that of butcher's meat, till 
at last it gets so high, that it becomes profitable 
to cultivate land for the sake of feeding 
them. When it has got to this height, it cannot 
well go higher. If it did, more land 
would soon be turned to this purpose. In 
several provinces of France, the feeding of 
poultry is considered as a very important article 
in rural economy, and sufficiently profitable 
to encourage the farmer to raise a considerable 
quantity of Indian corn and buckwheat 
for this purpose. A middling farmer 
will there sometimes have four hundred fowls 
in his yard. The feeding of poultry seems 
scarce yet to be generally considered as a matter 
of so much importance in England. They 
are certainly, however, dearer in England than 
in France, as England receives considerable 
supplies from France. In the progress of improvements
the period at which every particular 
sort of animal food in dearest, must naturally 
be that which immediately precedes 
the general practice of cultivating land for the 
sake of raising it. For some time before this 
practice becomes general, the scarcity must 
necessarily raise the price. After it has become 
general, new methods of feeding are 
commonly fallen upon, which enable the farmer 
to raise upon the same quantity of ground 
a much greater quantity of that particular sort 
of animal food. The plenty not only obliges 
him to sell cheaper, but, in consequence of 
these improvements, he can afford to sell 
cheaper; for if he could not afford it, the 
plenty would not be of long continuance. It 
has been probably in this manner that the introduction 
of clover, turnips, carrots, cabbages
&c. has contributed to sink the common 
price of butcher's meat in the London market
somewhat below what it was about the beginning 
of the last century. 
The hog, that finds his food among ordure, 
and greedily devours many things rejected by 
every other useful animal, is, like poultry
originally kept as a save-all. As long as the 
number of such animals, which can thus be 
reared at little or no expense, is fully sufficient 
to supply the demand, this sort of butcher's 
meat comes to market at a much lower 
price than any other. But when the demand 
rises beyond what this quantity can supply
when it becomes necessary to raise food on 
purpose for feeding and fattening hogs, in the 
same manner as for feeding and fattening 
other cattle, the price necessarily rises, and 
becomes proportionably either higher or lower 
than that of other butcher's meat, according 
as the nature of the country, and the state of 
its agriculture, happen to render the feeding 
of hogs more or less expensive than that of 
other cattle. In France, according to Mr 
Buffon, the price of pork is nearly equal to 
that of beef. In most parts of Great Britain 
it is at present somewhat higher
The great rise in the price both of hogs and 
poultry, has, in Great Britain, been frequently 
imputed to the diminution of the number 
of cottagers and other small occupiers of land
an event which has in every part of Europe 
been the immediate forerunner of improvement 
and better cultivation, but which at the 
same time may have contributed to raise the 
price of those articles, both somewhat sooner 
and somewhat faster than it would otherwise 
have risen. As the poorest family can often 
maintain a cat or a dog without any expense
so the poorest occupiers of land can commonly 
maintain a few poultry, or a sow and a few 
pigs, at very little. The little offals of their 
own table, their whey, skimmed milk, and 
butter milk, supply those animals with a part 
of their food, and they find the rest in the 
neighbouring fields, without doing any sensible 
damage to any body. By diminishing 
the number of those small occupiers, therefore, 
the quantity of this sort of provisions, 
which is thus produced at little or no expense
must certainly have been a good deal diminished
and their price must consequently 
have been raised both sooner and faster than 
it would otherwise have risen. Sooner or 
later, however, in the progress of improvement
it must at any rate have risen to the