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

Farm planning assistance

Farmers thinking about using animal traction probably have considered its advantages already. Of equal importance is an understanding of how animal traction will affect the overall farm operation. This is where an animal traction instructor can be especially helpful.

Instructors should visit the fields which the farmer intends to plant during the forthcoming season, and the fields left fallow. Only after understanding the existing pattern of land and labor use, and how the farmer calculates yearly needs, can an advisor begin to see where and if animal traction can be used to advantage.

Understanding how and why a farmer uses traditional cropping methods takes both time and great effort. This effort is required in order to match plans and needs; quick judgments concerning the use of animal traction easily can lead to failure.

After studying each situation, an instructor can offer advice concerning the purchase of equipment, how much must be produced to cover the cost of expanded operations, whether donkeys would be more efficient than bulls, and how the use of animals would affect the distribution of labor. It is extremely important, for example, to point out that animal traction increases the amount of manual labor needed for land preparation (clearing), planting, and harvesting, and decreases the amount needed for primary tillage and weeding. Other points concerning labor include:

• Traditional fields can be plowed before laborers hoe them into the mounds or ridges where crops will be planted. The labor caved in this operation can be used to plant additional lands plowed with the animals.

• In mid-season, laborers might be busy weeding traditional fields and unable to help weed fields plowed by animal traction. These fields, therefore, could be arranged so the farmer and the draft team can weed them alone. If crops are grown in regularly spaced rows, the animals will be able to walk between them and pull a weeding device. This concept can be demonstrated by laying a weeding yoke across four lines or ridges representing a planted field. The farmers can then see where the animals will walk and where the weeding plow goes. The line tracer, used to mark the rows before seeding, can also be demonstrated.

• Additional lands planted would not exceed the maximum number of hectares the family labor force could effectively harvest.