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

Conformation

Conformation refers to the form or shape of an animal. An animal with good conformation has a shape which shows the normal characteristics of its species and breed.

An animal used for draft must have a build well suited for pulling. It should be low to the ground, have powerful shoulders and legs, and have a broad frontal dimension that will accommodate the placement of a harness. It must be big enough to deliver, alone or in a pair, the power needed to pull equipment for an extended period of time. It must also be able to exert the concentrated or "instantaneous" effort needed to overcome temporary increases in the draft requirement caused by roots, rocks, hard soil, or inclines.

While some animals are bred to produce good draft abilities, within any breed individual animals vary greatly in these qualities, and care must be taken to choose those with the most potential. A thin but well-balanced animal can be strengthened with a good diet, health care, and work. However, an animal with a swayback, bad legs or impaired vision will be a constant source of trouble.

Selection is a process of matching ideal qualities against those seen or latent in a given animal. Good draft animals, regardless of species or breed, will have the following qualities:

• head well proportioned; squarish, sculptured look

• balanced vision and hearing; head carriage high and straight

• normal mouth; good teeth and jaw structure

• body should have depth and width; short, full neck, full shoulders, broad chest, and straight, broad beck

• wide, thick hindquarters, lowset and evenly-fleshed

• short legs, straight and square to the body; ample bone

• clean, well-developed joints; no swelling or unusual boniness; no turning in or out of knees or hoofs; free movement of limbs

• feet straight, hard; normal angulation of hoof.


A N'Dama Bull


Ideal Conformation in Horses

The illustrations-below can serve as general guidelines for identifying qualities in don keys and mules as well as horses.


Conformation Faults of the Horse

 


Equine Leg Conformation (1)

The proper and faulty conformation of the forelegs when viewed from the side:

A-correct conformation

B-forelegs too far under body

C-forelegs too far advanced

D-buck-kneed

E-calf-kneed-standing with knees too far back.

 


Equine Leg Conformation (2)

The proper and faulty conformation of the hind legs when viewed from the side:

A-correct conformation

B-sickle-hocked-hind legs too far under body

C-legs set too far back

D-hock joint too straight.

 


Equine Leg Conformation (3)

The proper and faulty conformation of the forelegs (top) when viewed from the front, and the hind legs (bottom) when viewed from the rear. The forelegs:

A-correct conformation

B-splay-footed or basenarrow forefeet, toe cut out, heels in

C-bowed legs

D-knock-kneed, set close together with toes pointing outward

E-conformation predisposing to interfering

F-knees set close together

G-pigeon-toed or toe narrow-a conformation which will cause the animal to wing or throw out the feet as they are elevated.

 


Equine Leg Conformation (4)

The hind legs:

A-correct conformation

B-hind legs set too far apart

C-bandy-legged-wide at the hocks and hind feet toe-in

D-hind legs set too close together i E-cow-hocked.