Prince Yuri Lubovedsky
‘I then concentrated all my attention on these animals. In two days I completely convinced myself that the sheep and goats had already begun to prefer this mixture to all other kinds of food. It was composed of seven and a half parts of sand, two parts of ground mutton and one-half part of ordinary salt. At the beginning, all the animals undergoing my experiments, including the sheep and goats, had daily lost from a half to two and a half per cent of their total weight, but, from the day when the sheep and goats began to eat this mixture, they not only stopped losing weight but began gaining from one to three ounces daily. Thanks to these experiments, I personally have no doubt whatever that this sand could be used for feeding goats and sheep, provided it be mixed with the necessary quantity of their own meat. I can therefore propose to you today the following:
‘To overcome the chief difficulty of our trip across the desert, we must buy several hundred sheep and goats, and gradually, as the need arises, kill them and use their meat both for food for ourselves and for preparing the aforesaid mixture as food for the remaining animals. We need not fear any lack of the required sand, as all the data in my possession convince me that in certain places it can always be found.
‘Now, as regards water, in order to provide ourselves with a sufficient supply, we must obtain a large quantity of sheep’s or goats’ bladders or stomachs—twice as many as there are animals —and making them into khourdjeens fill them with water and load each sheep or goat with two khourdjeens.
‘I have already verified that a sheep can carry this quantity of water with ease and without any harm to itself. In addition, experiment and calculation have shown me that this quantity of water will suffice for our own needs and also for the animals, provided we exercise a little economy in the use of it during the first two or three days. After this we will be able, with the water carried by the sheep we have killed, to satisfy ourselves and the remaining sheep in full.’