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Did you people read about having oxens to pull plows, wagons, general work in the newest issue of Countryside magazine. It was very interesting, makes me want to go out and buy a couple of steers and get started. I learned a lot reading that article. Before I didn't know it was better to have steers. I just always thought you used a couple of cows. And I didn't know that they needed to be as close to size as possible so they would share equal load.
 

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NEVER...EVER....take advice from a magazine at face value. There are always hidden costs behind the Utopia. Feed, wagons, training time and yokes are an example. I am NOT discounting the article, it is just a cautionary bit of advice. I have fallen into this problem in the past.
 
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TK, the oxen team would be more of a hobby than anything. As with many horse owners their horses don't pay for their own feed either. I just think it would be fun to hitch up a couple of oxens and plow my spring garden and maybe particapate in a parade or two. I know there would be a lot of trainning time involved. One of the people wrote in that they trainned their oxen some 4 hours a day and went through 3 or 4 yokes while trainning.

Everybody has hobbies of some sort.
 

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Could be a productive hobby as well. They could be used in exhibitions, living history farms, and taken to schools (especially those in urban areas) for a major show and tell (for a nominal fee).
 

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I just want to say that having oxen is a blast! They sure don't earn their keep, though! We use them for light work around the farm and a few fairs. I usually spend an hour a day with them as calves to train them. When they are older, you don't need to spend as much time with them. They remember everything you taught them. My linebacks went all winter without being yoked.

Jennifer
 

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r.h. in okla. said:
TK, the oxen team would be more of a hobby than anything. As with many horse owners their horses don't pay for their own feed either. I just think it would be fun to hitch up a couple of oxens and plow my spring garden and maybe particapate in a parade or two. I know there would be a lot of trainning time involved. One of the people wrote in that they trainned their oxen some 4 hours a day and went through 3 or 4 yokes while trainning.

Everybody has hobbies of some sort.
There are Amish all over America using horses, a host of farmers in Eastern European countries using horses, and farmers over most of Indonesia using oxen who would argue that these varmints DO earn their keep. I guess if they're not earning their keep then they aren't really needed by the owner and they are just a hobby.

My intent is to clear about 30 to 40 acres of my land using oxen; no parades, no petting zoos, no school tours, just work. They will pull the mowers to cut and rake hay, pull trailers full of hay, pull stumps, pull in firewood from my cuttings, plow fields, and eat the grass God inspires to grow by way of payment.

Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
 
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Haggis said:
There are Amish all over America using horses,
And some of us aren't even Amish or Mennonite that use horses.


Haggis said:
They will pull the mowers to cut and rake hay,
You may find them a bit too slow for the mower and might experience jams. Paul is the teamster but I know he'll only use the horses for mowing.

Oxen are wonderful!!
 

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I read that article, too. I just love that magazine. It's so full of information. It never occured to me to use oxen for all this work we have to do on the farm. But then again, my husband is a machinery type guy. He loves his Ford 8N tractor.
 

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I would love to use our oxen for more work around the farm. But it is so much easier to just hop on the tractor than to call the oxen in from pasture, drag out the yoke, yoke them up, give them a little walk to warm them up, etc.
We don't have the luxury to just farm. My husband and I both also work outside the farm, so time is tight. :(
 

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I hear you Jennifer. It does take longer using animal power (we use draft horses) than it does the tractor. Around here (both Paul and I have off the farm jobs) we use the Belgians for cutting & raking the hay, but we put the baler behind the old Farmall M
 

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You may find them a bit too slow for the mower and might experience jams. Paul is the teamster but I know he'll only use the horses for mowing.

Oxen are wonderful!![/QUOTE]


If you are going to mow with oxen get the right mower. Mullers Lane is right. The JD #4 or the McD #9 are geared to low to use really well with oxen. Get a McD #7 or even better a McD Big Six instead they have a gear ratio that is more suited to ox speed. Be careful haying with oxen too 'cause they overheat really easy in hot weather.

Haggis, are you going to be training your own team of Devons? Make sure you take them from their mamas right off the bat or you will have a handfull.

I don't get Countryside anymore so I didn't read the article. Did it recommend "Oxen: a Teamster's Guide" by Drew Conroy? That is a must if you want to train a team and haven't done it before.
 
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