|Better Farming Series 14 - Farming with Animal Power (FAO - INADES, 1977, 57 p.)|
A man who does not eat well cannot work well.
An ox that does not eat well cannot work well.
Working oxen must be well fed.
We know that cattle need a lot of time to feed.
An ox that works has less time to get its food than animals that do not work.
So rich pastures near the village must be kept for working oxen, and grass or hay must be taken to them in their shed.
You must store green fodder for the dry season, by making silage or hay (see Booklet No. 8, page 28).
You must also give working oxen feed supplements.
An ox that works 5 hours a day must have, besides green fodder, a feed supplement.
A well- fed ox works well and does not get thin.
The oxen stay well, can be used for a longer time, and then sold for a good price. You spend money to feed the oxen well, but you earn more by their work and by selling them.
You are advised to give working oxen every day 2 feed units for light work, and 3 feed units for heavy work (see Booklet No. 8, page 13).
This feed supplement is provided by: 2.5 kilogrammes of rice bran mixed with crushed maize, or 2.5 kilogrammes of rice bran mixed with crushed sorghum, or 6 kilogrammes of groundnut stems and leaves, or 5 kilogrammes of good brush hay.
You must also give the oxen a mineral supplement every day.
For example, calcium carbonate mixed with dicalcium phosphate.
And do not forget a salt lick.
Even when the animals are not working, you must give them enough to eat.
If you do not do this, when you need them for working, they will be too weak, they will take too long doing the work; sowing will be late, and the harvest will not be so good.
Without good feeding, animal power is useless.