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close this book Animal traction
View the document About this manual
View the document About the author
View the document Acknowledgments
Open this folder and view contents 1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents 2. Draft animal selection
Open this folder and view contents 3. Animal husbandry
Open this folder and view contents 4. Training draft animals
Open this folder and view contents 5. Yokes and harnesses
Open this folder and view contents 6. Hitches
View the document 7. Field operations and implements
Open this folder and view contents 8. Economic and technical assistance
Open this folder and view contents 9. Animal traction extension
View the document Appendix A: Animal power
Open this folder and view contents Appendix B: Animal nutrition
Open this folder and view contents Appendix C: Disease recognition and control
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


animal traction-use of draft animals to power farm equipment.

bovine-of the ox family (Bovidae); includes cattle, domestic water buffalo, carabao, zebu, yak.

breeching (britching)-a kind of harness which circles an animal's rear quarters, permitting it to brake or backup a wheeled implement or vehicle.

cast-1. to immobilize an animal by forcing it to the ground and tying it.

2. to be on the ground and in a position where movement is impossible; as, "a horse cast in its stall."

clevis-a piece of U-shaped metal which fits onto the tongue of a wagon, the midpoint of a yoke, or the front of a plow, and serves as a hitch point for a chain or hook. The clevis is held in place by a pin which passes through the two ends and the bar or beam between them.

conformation-the overall form or shape of an animal, including both its individual characteristics and those of its species and breed.

cultivate-the process of loosening the earth around plants, primarily to kill weeds and let air and water penetrate.

draft (draught)-1. pull; pulling 2. the thickest, widest part of a collar, fitting against the shoulder where pressure will be greatest when the animal pulls.

drawchain-the chain connecting the power source to implement or vehicle being pulled.

driver-person guiding a team of draft animals from behind, using use of lines (reins) and/or voice commands. The driver often steers or operates equipment at the same time.

equine-of the horse family (equidae), including horses, asses (donkeys), and mules.

fixed loop-a small permanent loop knotted or spliced at the end of the rope. A lasso or running noose is made by passing the free end of the rope through the loop.

forage-any plant material, fresh or dry, used as feed for domestic animals. Commonly refers to vegetation, but also includes grain.

furrow-a narrow trench made by a plow or other farm implement. The land thrown out or to the

side of the trench is called a furrow slice.

hames-a set of wooden or metal bars which are seated against the collar of a pulling harness, one either side, to which traces and other straps attach.

hitch-1. the connection between power and the load

2. the combination of animals and equipment used to supply power and connect it to the load

3. action of connecting the power to the load.

hitchpoint-the point where the draw chain hooks, or connects to the load.

harness-a combination of leather straps, worn by a draft animal, permitting it to pull, or pull, brake, and back up a load. Bridle and lines are also part of the harness.

jack saddle-1. a harness part which circles an animal's torso and distributes pressure from the wagonshaft or cart shafts onto the back

2. any padded surcingle which helps stabilize the harness and carry lines and traces.

lines-a set of long ropes or leathers which fasten to an animal's halter or bridle and pass back to the driver, letting him steer and stop.

line of traction (line of draft)-the line between the point of draft and the point of resistance.

load-the field implement (plow, cultivator, etc.) or vehicle (cart or wagon) which is being pulled.

moldboard-a curved piece of metal which turns the furrow slice on its side after it has been cut by the plowblade, or share.

neckyoke-wooden bar worn under the necks of animals in harness, permitting them to hold up the tongue of a wagon, and brake and back up the wagon.

point of draft-the point where the drawchain or trace connects to the power. On a yoke, this is the clevis located at the midpoint of the stock (crossbar). It is called the yoke draft. On a collar harness, it is the point where the trace connects to the hame. It is called the hame draft.

point of resistance-point where there is greatest opposition to pulling. The centerpoint of the load. On a plow, this is roughly the midpoint of the share/moldboard joint.

power-rate at which an animal can transform its energy into pull work.

ration-a fixed allowance of feed and water.

skidding-1. a process of dragging logs or fallen trees, usually as part of logging or fieldclearing operations.

2. a training procedure which teaches the animals to pull by having them draft light logs.

swingtree-any bar used to transfer pull from the traces to the load. One-animal swingtrees are called singletrees. Longer bars are called doubletrees. When two animals are used, each of the two singletrees is connected to the doubletree, which is in turn connected to the load.

surcingle-strap which encircles an animal's torso and helps stabilize other parts of the harness, or helps keep lines, ropes, or traces from dragging on the ground.

tandem-positioned one behind the other.

traces-a set of ropes or leather straps which transfer draft from an animal's harness back to the load. Traces attach to rings on the hames, or to the ends of a breastband, sling, or singleyoke. Behind the animal they attach to a single tree.

traction-1. drawing or pulling

2. kind of power used to draw or pull loads.

vehicle-a cart or wagon.

yoke-1. a wooden bar carried across the neck or horns of oxen, permitting them to pull

2. a pair of oxen fastened in a yoke.