I don't think the problem was so much what livestock was had at forts . . . but the terrible rations in the field. Maybe if the army took a wagon filled with chicken & pigs along they would have eaten better.
Of course hens clucking, roosters crowing, and pigs oinking would have been worse than mules braying. They would never have found any Indians!
Hard to believe that mules, assorted dogs, and clanking tin cups were considered less noisy than sabres!
Actually, come to think of it, there's no excuse for the dreadful field rations. The army had been using desiccated vegetables for years; they're light-weight and compact, so wouldn't have been a problem to carry. They had desiccated potatoes too ("instant mash"). Even when fires were restricted, the same small fire that boiled water for coffee could surely boil it for veg. It would have varied the rations, cheered the lads up, and removed the threat of dying from scurvy long before the Indians got you. Bizarre.