- August 17, 2015 at 11:13 am #85976awed1Participant
My name is Bill Brown.
I am new here and really just came here to find the answer to a question I am curious about.
I remember hearing once, long ago, that in the old days when they wanted to train a young ox to pull, they would yoke it with an older well-trained ox.
Then the older ox would train, as it were, the younger ox how to pull and how to follow directions.
It sounded like it made sense to me, but I don’t know if it really works or not.
When I look online at how people train oxen, they always seem to try to team young ones together without the benefit of yoking them to an older ox.
Is what I heard, about yoking a young ox with an old one to train the younger ox, a myth or a “wives” tale, or just something that I heard?
Is it something that used to be practiced, but that no longer is?
Do you know the answers, or do you know somebody who does?
B.August 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm #85977CharlyBonifazMember
it works perfectly well and even if you don’t plan to leave them together as team, the young one will learn a lot with less effort; I had a baby calf running along with Mom working; by the time I started to train the youngster seriously she had already understood all my verbal commands. In France I have seen yokes for 3 oxen: the young one, having to learn, was yoked in the middle, at both sides experienced oldtimers that showed and moved him along. Takes a lot of stress out of training 😉August 22, 2015 at 7:19 pm #85982dominiquer60Moderator
This technique with oxen is new to me, but I am familiar with this technique with equines. I can see how a baby running along mother would get used to the work environment, and the older animal would hopefully demonstrate good work behavior.
Many may not have an older ox to hitch to, or having to yoke 2 dramatically different sized animals could prove difficult for some. One or more older animals can “break” a younger animal to working, but to me the animal is not really trained, just following what appears to be the leader, the older animal(s).
When I work animals, bovine or equine, I always want to be the clear leader of the partnership, therefore I like to train young cattle myself, that way I can only blame myself for any bad habits. I feel that this is an effective way to have the cattle look to me for commands rather than a teammate. This is just my humble opinion.
ErikaAugust 23, 2015 at 2:16 am #85985dlskidmoreParticipant
Differences in size would be an issue.
I’ve also read of a method where you use multiple pairs of oxen for big jobs, and you put the well trained oxen in lead, and a younger matched pair behind. One reference suggested keeping 5 pairs, and each year butchering the lead pair and introducing a new pair to the rear. I’m not sure that’s useful in any situation other than heavy cargo hauling. Might be useful for deep plowing, but there’s only so much of that to do in a year.
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