Cover Image
close this bookBetter Farming Series 14 - Farming with Animal Power (FAO - INADES, 1977, 57 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
close this folderChoosing and preparing fields
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSize and shape of fields
View the documentMarking the boundaries of a field
View the documentGrub out all the trees in the field
View the documentGet permission to farm for a long time
close this folderWorking animals
close this folderOxen
View the documentChoosing oxen for farm work
close this folderTraining oxen
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentHarnessing oxen with a yoke
View the documentHow to train oxen
View the documentHow many hours a day can oxen work?
View the documentHow to feed working oxen
View the documentLooking after working' oxen
View the documentDonkeys
View the documentHorses
View the documentMules
View the documentCamels
close this folderTools for use with animal power
close this folderChoice of tools
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe plough
View the documentThe harrow
View the documentThe Manga cultivator
View the documentThe seed drill
View the documentThe cart
View the documentOther tools
close this folderIncome from animal power
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderWhat animal power costs
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBuying animals and tools
View the documentAmortization
View the documentInterest
View the documentThe animals' food
View the documentUpkeep and repair of tools
View the documentWhat animal power farming costs him:
View the documentMechanized farming
View the documentSome examples of animal power farming
View the documentSuggested question paper

Choosing oxen for farm work

You should choose:

· Big and rather heavy oxen

The bigger an ox is, the stronger it is. An ox that is too small cannot do much work.

Some oxen are too small for clearing the land and deep ploughing.

· Healthy oxen

The animals must breathe easily and not cough. The bones and muscles must be well developed. The legs, especially, must be strong. The hocks (joints) must be well formed, the hoofs must be solid and smooth.

An animal that walks with difficulty is not good for work.

Look at how an animal walks and you will see whether it will make a good working ox.

The horns must be hard; they must not be tender. You cannot put a head yoke (see page 19) on an ox with broken horns. The neck must be short and strong.

· Oxen not too difficult to train

If an ox is vicious, you cannot train it easily.

Bulls are castrated in order to make them easier to train. But they should not be castrated too young. Wait 18 to 24 months before castrating a bull, for then it will be stronger for work. But in that case it must be separated from the herd so that it does not cover the cows.

If an ox is spiritless and lazy it is not good for training, for it will not do much work.

· Oxen of the same size

If one ox is bigger than the other, the yoke cannot fit well. Then the yoke bothers the oxen and they cannot work well.

If one ox is stronger than the other, the strength of the stronger ox is not fully used.

· Oxen of about the same age

They will be able to work together for several years.

· Oxen of the right age

Do not take animals that are too old. Oxen that are too old are difficult to train. After being trained they will work for fewer years than oxen trained when young.

Do not take animals that are too young. They are not strong enough; they have not finished growing. Their bones are not hard enough. An animal that works when it is too young does not grow,

At the age of 2 or 3 years, you can begin to train oxen. If you begin early, the oxen get into good habits. But before the age of 4, let them do only light work.

At the aye of 4 years, oxen are strong enough to work hard. You can then keep them for several years. Oxen can work up to the age of 10 years.