Looking after working' oxen
The cattle shed
Working oxen must be able to rest.
To shelter them from the wind, sun and rain, build a shed for
them. Use wood, millet straw, other local materials.
The shed should not cost much.
Next to the shed, make a paddock.
In the paddock put feeding racks or troughs for the feed
supplement you give the oxen (see page 27).
Put feeding racks or troughs in the
Watching over the health of working oxen
· Every week look to see if the
oxen have ticks. Ticks prevent oxen from working well; the animals get restless,
walk with difficulty, and lose their strength. You can kill ticks with paraffin
or mineral oil. They can also be cut out.
· Look out for any injuries. If
an ox is injured, find out why. Has it got a thorn in its foot? Has a piece of
wood or iron torn its skin? To avoid hurting the oxen, the yoke must be well
placed (see page 19); make sure that the cloth is in place.
When you have found what hurts the ox, take away the cause of
the injury. Do not make the ox work. It is better to lose a few days' work than
to lose an ox.
You must treat the wound.
Clean the wound with hot water. Add disinfectant to the water to
prevent the wound getting infected, for example, soap, or potassium permanganate
or cresol. Wash the wound often. A wound that is kept clean soon