Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Oxen › Size of oxen for farm work
- February 15, 2018 at 5:35 pm #96054
We’re hoping to get some guidance before buying a team (maybe cows, maybe steers) to help out on our sheep farm. We have limited pasture, so we don’t want them any bigger than they have to be. But we also want to be sure we get animals that can do the work we need done. They’d be pulling a sickle-bar hay mower, a side-delivery rake, a wooden hay wagon with a hay loader behind it, a two-gang disk harrow (we could reduce that to one gang if necessary), an old seed drill, a roller, and a wheel-drive manure spreader. We’d also have them twitch the occasional not-very-big log, and I’m sure we’ll come up with other tasks.
We’ve grasped that Chianinas would be too big, and Dexters would be too small. We’ve been imagining that something between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds would be about right, but we’ve never had oxen, so that’s pretty much an imaginary range. We’d be really grateful for any feedback from people who actually have experience, rather than just enthusiasm.
JimFebruary 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm #96061CharlyBonifazMember
“They’d be pulling a sickle-bar hay mower,”
that may prove a problem, if the mower is not made for cattle; or do they just have to pull it, and the mower is run with an independent engine?
“but we’ve never had oxen,”
anyone down your way to get you started? it may not be as easy as buy a team and start working …February 18, 2018 at 11:10 pm #96063
Thanks for responding!
The mover is wheel-driven, if that’s the expression I want – no motor. It was made for horses. Hopefully it will work with cattle, in spite of their being slower. If not, well, we’ll see, I guess.
There are precious few oxen in our province (we’re in southeastern Ontario, in Canada), none anywhere nearby. I’m taking a five-day workshop at Tillers International in June. Other than that, we’re on our own – other than the internet, that is!February 19, 2018 at 7:44 am #96064RonParticipant
If you are in south eastern Ontario you should take a swing round and contact the good people at Upper Canada Village. They have some good teamsters and Oxen on staff. Their is some people in Quebec using oxen and they will put you in touch I am sure. They are very approachable and easy to talk to.
Ron McCoyFebruary 20, 2018 at 1:31 pm #96076
Good idea, Ron, thanks! I’ll get in touch with UCV.
JimFebruary 23, 2018 at 8:49 am #96077dominiquer60Moderator
It takes a good pair to work a hay loader and wagon at the same time, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPwlUTK0Ybg
What size tandem disc? We have and 8′ and need 6 horses to use it.
ErikaFebruary 24, 2018 at 8:13 pm #96079
I see what you mean. Well, we may have to do some experimentation . . .
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