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


Grooming refers to the process of cleaning animals so that their coats are free of dust, dirt, manure and sweat.

Importance of Animal Grooming:

1) At night, animals may lie in manure, water or urine-soaked ground. When this material hardens on the coat (hair), it attracts flies and other insects which are a nuisance to the animal and winch may carry disease. Sometimes this material contains parasites such as hookworm, which can enter the skin and seriously affect the animal's health.

2) When sweat evaporates, it leaves a mat of stiff hair. A harness or yoke rubbing against this mat will pull some of the hair loose and harder clumps of hair will rub against the exposed skin. This results in a burn or raw spot which becomes increasingly tender and finally an open wound. These wounds are called girth sores or yoke galls. They can cause pain which makes animals extremely irritable and hard to handle.

3) Daily grooming results in closer physical contact between owner and animal. This association develops trust between them. The owner learns about the animal's moods, sensitivities, and reactions. The animal becomes familiar with the owner's voice, movements, and commands, and becomes easier to handle.

4) Daily grooming lets the owner take a close look at the animal each day. Minor problems like ticks, scratches, muscle strains, harness sores, and stones in the hoof can be detected and treated before they become serious problems.

To groom animals, a person needs two tools-a curry comb and a brush. A curry comb is an ovalshaped plastic or metal brushing device which is used to loosen sweat, manure and other materials from the animal's coat. The brush is used to remove the materials loosened during currying.

How to Groom an Animal:

1) Cross-tie the animal (see page 64 for method).

2) Put the curry comb in the right hand and the brush in the left. Starting high on the animal's neck, apply the curry using gentle, circular motions. When the neck is curried, use the brush to remove the loosened materials. Use firm strokes and brush in the direction of the natural lay of the coat.

3) Clean one section of the coat at a time. Work front to back, using first the curry, then the brush to clean each section. When the entire first side (including the legs) is finished, go to the opposite side and repeat the process starting high on the neck.

4) Pay special attention to areas where harness touches the animal. Remove all hardened sweat.

5) When currying the legs, be very gentle. Use the edge of the curry to clean the bony structures around the knees, hocks, elbows, and fetlocks.

6) Leave the head until last. Brush it gently. Be sure to loosen the halter and remove any sweat or loose hair caked under it (especially behind the ears and on the muzzle).

7) If the animal moves, kicks, or attempts to reach back and bite, immobilize it by tightening the crossties and lifting one of the legs in the manner described on page 65.

8) Use water to loosen material that is sticky or very hard.

9) Pick up each hoof and check for stones. Remove stones or caked manure with a hoof pick or blunt instrument.

10) Clean the harness. If the harness is caked with sweat and loose hair, it will dig into the animal and cause a sore. Clean the leather with a scraper; then use a sponge and warm water to remove the finer residue. Keep the leather supple by applying vegetable oil or petroleum once a week. The best time to groom an animal is before the working period. This ensures that it will be clean when harnessed and that sores will not occur. It also helps to prepare the animal for harnessing and work by making it attentive to the owner's voice and commands.