Working Oxen

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Working Oxen

Post  Gery Barker on Tue May 12, 2009 2:26 pm

Oxen are strange animals. If you are used to horses and mules, an ox,or a team of oxen is a bit different. They are the most herd driven animal in the world. The example I like to give is that horses stampede with ten or twelve feet between each animal; cattle stampede touching. An ox is a mature, neutered male of any breed of cattle, trained to drive. Cattle follow a dominant animal. We get them to work willingly by being that dominant animal. This is a lot of responsibility. If there is a problem, the driver has to be the answer. I delivered a cannon once and stood there while Chip and Dale calmly chewed their cuds watching the cannon fire. On one shot, I tripped. It had nothing to do with the cannon. The oxen were panic stricken. Excitable drivers have excitable teams. But, oxen are un-lazy animals. My teams come to the gate to be hitched knowing they will be put to work. They would rather work than stand in the pasture bored. The down side is that you have no control over them but the force of your own personality, there are no lines or reins. They cannot take three months off in pasture and come back. Figure on working your oxen daily. If you cannot do this, work horses or mules.
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Gery Barker

Posts : 24
Join date : 2009-04-08
Age : 73
Location : Edmonton, KY

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