Cover Image
close this book Animal traction
View the document About this manual
View the document About the author
View the document Acknowledgments
close this folder 1. Introduction
View the document What is animal traction?
View the document History of animal traction
View the document Why use animal traction?
View the document Some considerations
View the document How can animal traction be used?
View the document Before beginning: what do you need to know?
close this folder 2. Draft animal selection
View the document Popular draft animals
View the document Determining power requirements
View the document General rules concerning power requirements
View the document Method for determining size of the hitch
View the document Determining weights of animals
View the document Selection of individual draft animals
View the document Conformation
View the document Temperament
close this folder 3. Animal husbandry
View the document Sheller
View the document Nutrition
View the document Grooming
View the document Minor medical problems and first aid
close this folder 4. Training draft animals
View the document Before training begins
View the document General comments on training procedure
View the document Training cattle
View the document Program for training cattle
View the document Training horses, donkeys and mules
View the document Program for training horses, donkeys and mules
close this folder 5. Yokes and harnesses
View the document Yokes and harnesses for cattle
View the document Yokes and harnesses for horses, donkeys and mules
View the document How to harness a horse, donkey or mule
View the document Steering systems
View the document Breeching harness
close this folder 6. Hitches
View the document Safety rules
View the document Implement hitches
View the document Vehicle hitches
View the document 7. Field operations and implements
close this folder 8. Economic and technical assistance
View the document Farm planning assistance
View the document Equipment options
View the document Credit for equipment
View the document Credit for animals
View the document Procedures and controls
close this folder 9. Animal traction extension
View the document Extension education
View the document Appendix A: Animal power
close this folder Appendix B: Animal nutrition
View the document Energy needs: bovine animals
View the document Energy needs: equine animals
View the document Nutrient needs of draft animals: protein, minerals, vitamins
View the document Feeds and feed composition
View the document Calculating a ration
View the document Recommended rations and feeding practices
close this folder Appendix C: Disease recognition and control
View the document Parasites and parasitic disease
View the document Appendix D: Workshop and spare parts inventory
View the document Appendix E: Animal traction instruction forms
View the document Appendix F: Animal breeds used for power
View the document Bibliography
View the document Resources
View the document GIossary

Equipment options

A number of factors must be considered when choosing equipment: type of crop, area cropped, climate and soil conditions, availability and type of animal power, potential of local artisans to repair and manufacture parts. Equipment must be durable, affordable, and easy to transport, use and maintain.

Many farmers have recognized the economy and versatility of the multi-purpose breakdown toolframe and purchase it as the core of an equipment package which includes a number of standard attachments. Frame-based equipment is popular because it is easy to move and can be fitted with an assortment of relatively inexpensive blades that achieve various tillage objectives.

For many African farmers, the concept of a toolframe is not new. A handhoe which can be fitted with a mounding blade, a ridging blade, and a weeding blade is especially designed for options. In programs where toolframes are used or available, agents can help farmers understand the versatility of animaldrawn equipment by showing them toolframe options-moldboard plows, ridgers, weeders, cultivators, and peanut lifters.

A one-piece, one-purpose tool appears less complicated and less expensive to beginning farmers, but can cause them trouble later. A nonadaptable moldboard plow lets them turn many hectares of land, but unless they hire extra laborers to ridge and/or weed it, the crops suffer and the yield is poor. They may solve the problem later, by purchasing a ridging plow or a cultivator, or they may decide that animal traction is too expensive and simply return to traditional methods.

Ultimately, it is less expansive to purchase a multipurpose toolframe with attachments than to buy a set of single-purpose tools, unless those specialty tools are locally made and are cheaper than an imported toolframe. Although toolframes look complicated, attachments are easily changed.

Locally-Made Equipment

Many of the tools used by farmers can be manufactured locally. Yokes, harnesses, harrows, line tracers, plowshares, ridger points, and many toolframe parts can be made by village artisans who are given a model, prototype, or picture to work from. The equipment is often less expensive than imported goods, and it is more readily supplied to farmers.

In some programs, instructors encourage village blacksmiths, carpenters and leathermakers to attend clinics or workshops where they can learn additional skills and techniques. Credit to purchase new tools or materials may be extended to those who attend.

Quality control and tool standardization should be major objectives of training programs, so that artisans can produce replacement parts for local or imported equipment. Individuals, equipment centers, or farmer associations can purchase, stock, or sell them as needed.

Skilled artisans also can supply custom-made equipment such as yokes, harness, sweeps, and sleds. Some artisans work at regional or national manufacturing centers, where wagons, toolframes, and other types of equipment are produced on a large scale.