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close this bookBetter Farming Series 14 - Farming with Animal Power (FAO - INADES, 1977, 57 p.)
close this folderWorking animals
close this folderOxen
View the documentChoosing oxen for farm work
Open this folder and view contentsTraining oxen
View the documentHow to feed working oxen
View the documentLooking after working' oxen

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 paddock

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 heals.