Animal husbandry

Livestock farming has always been a very delicate sector for the Luserna economy; suffice it to think about the layout of the land, the territory, the scarcity of soils, and the less than ideal climate that distinguishes this high-altitude location.  Animal husbandry mostly concerned goats and cattle, which provided the core raw ingredient conveyed to the local dairy farm, in production until the late 1970s. The milk produced was processed and transformed into butter and cheese, which was then redistributed among the inhabitants in proportion to the amount of milk each had provided.

Pig farming was also quite significant in Luserna. In the old days, local inhabitants used to go to the town of Asiago on 2 November to purchase a 10-12 kg baby pig, which was then raised and fed in abundance for about a year before being slaughtered prior to the onset of the following winter. Considering that no part of the pig was discarded, the profit earned was certainly very good.

A particularly important role was played by working animals, mules and horses in particular, which although scarcely used in agriculture, represented an indispensable tool for timber trawling, the resupply of consumables, and to ensure the viability of roads during the winter. Ownership of mules and horses was a prerogative of those who worked in commerce and, therefore, of a few wealthy families, with the end result that the main local economic activities were concentrated in the hands of few people.

Breeding poultry and other farm animals also played a very important role, since it yielded what was often the only source of protein in most people’s diet. In addition to poultry, whose meat was very suitable for the preparation of soups, hens and geese provided a large number of eggs which, in the event of excess production, could have been sold in exchange for some money to be used for the purchase of other food items.