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Save the world , raise Oxen

 
                                
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raiseing Oxen to farm your land , www.sabinehomestead.org
 
                                
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pulling fire wood out of the forest with the oxen
 
Warren David
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Are they easy enough to train?
 
                                
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ezy ?  well as ezy as training a GOOD bird dog , or eny thang else , the more you put in to them the more your going to get out . Not much on a homestead is ezy , unless it making the ice tea after all the works done and setting on the porch swing . take a look at the blog at the links page of are web site www.sabinehomestead.org
 
Tyler Ludens
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I like to hope we can make working on our homesteads easier by using permaculture  Some of us can't raise oxen, not having enough land for it, so we have to find ways of growing food and obtaining fuel which do not require draft animals. 


 
            
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I agree with Ludi.
I think it is important to realize that not any one thing works in all situations, and that we need to be able to adapt to what we have available to work with. 
One thing that bothers me is that too often people fill their land up with animals and soon all you see is bare land where the over populated land has been picked clean by the animals on it.  You see chicken yards that are nothing more than dust and chicken crap, nothing gets a chance to grow, "barn yards" that are nothing more than feed lots where animals muck about in misery.
Not a PETA member but I sure do get bothered when I see this sort of thing.  I don't think that is permaculture.
 
Tyler Ludens
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KurtW wrote:
 
One thing that bothers me is that too often people fill their land up with animals and soon all you see is bare land where the over populated land has been picked clean by the animals on it.
 

Here in my immediate area I would  probably need 100  acres or more to appropriately raise oxen without damaging the land.    The animal unit carrying capacity of the land here is one animal unit per 20 -25 acres.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I should mention I think oxen are really interesting animals and it's neat that sabinehomestead is raising them. 
 
Shawn Bell
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For those of us that don't have enough room to raise oxen, this could be an alternative.
BurkeGoatCart.jpg
[Thumbnail for BurkeGoatCart.jpg]
 
                                
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Balense is the key , looking at what you need and what you can do . central texas gets 35 inches of rain , whare as east texas gets 55 inches a year , more rain more grass . we are also setting up to grow more food then we need to sell it , most would do this with a tractor,,,, this is a trap ,, how meny carrits would you have to sell to pay off a tractor ? costing $5,000 to $20,000 and the calfs we got at the dairy farm for $70 for both holstens will take a lot less carrits to sale to pay off . with the cost of fertilizer going up , its nice to have the manure we get too . The oxen can also , pull fire wood and timber for building out of the forest for us , as well as move chicken tractors , wagons , plow and cut hay . Oxen are not for every one but long ago , oxen where what every one was useing and it worked for them for thousands of years ,,,,,,,
 
            
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what is "balense"?
 
John Polk
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(I think it is "balance"

Throughout agricultural history, the oxen and water buffalo have been the dominant beasts of burden.  The "acre" was established as the amount of land a man and his beast could plow in one day.  Historically, a 1A plot would be (+/-) 440 x 100' which eliminated a lot of turning.
 
Abe Connally
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what about using a milk cow instead of a steer?  stacking functions....
 
Tyler Ludens
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velacreations wrote:
what about using a milk cow instead of a steer?  stacking functions....


That would be rather hard on the poor animal, to raise a baby and be a beast of burden at the same time.



She might not live very long....
 
Emerson White
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The advantage of a tractor over a horse or an ox is that the tractor takes almost no maintanence while you aren't using it. I could certainly see it turning out to be the cases where a still and a tractor would take less resources over the life of a farmer than an ox in many situations.
 
Abe Connally
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Ludi wrote:
That would be rather hard on the poor animal, to raise a baby and be a beast of burden at the same time.



She might not live very long....

It would depend on her feed and the amount of work.  This was common practice in Europe for quite a long time, as finances didn't allow for a draft animal to be single function.

animals have lots of advantages over tractors, including being able to reproduce themselves, eating directly from the farm, and producing manure.  If you have a female work animal, they can also produce a product.
 
Alison Thomas
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When I was thinking about getting a jersey dairy cow and couldn't bear to dispatch her off-spring, we thought about using oxen inspired by this www.theoxfiles.com    (forgot link originally  ops

The picture of the goats pulling the cart is cool.
 
Emerson White
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I just disagree with the notion that an ox is the best solution for all people. Oxen have environmental impact too is what I'm getting at.
 
                                
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first off no one sead that oxen are a solution to all people ! the proof of oxen is in are hidden past and you will only find it if you look for it . Thank of the bigger picture , how much hidden power and resorcses are spent making a tractor ? how much corn would you have to grow to make a gallon of gas and what will it take to make it ? there is lots to thank about with it all , yes with money you can turn key your farm or homestead , that would be the ezyest , just sitting on the porch sepping tea and writing checks watching your workers work , to most this would sound good , but thats not me , but what do i know , i sertenly dont know how to spell , so what do i know about it all ,,,,
 
Tyler Ludens
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A lot of us can't afford a tractor either! 
 
Emerson White
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"Save the world , raise Oxen "
 
Burra Maluca
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These belong to a friend of mine.  I think the harness is all home-made and the cart is a modified 'platform truck'.  The goats are home-raised dehorned castrated males, probably Boer crossed with Toggenberg.  Not strictly 'oxen', but a low-acreage alternative.

I think she calls them Port and Starboard.

 
                                
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Save The World , Raise Draft Goats and Drink Healthy Milk Too , have you made a pack saddle for your goats out of pallet wood some are hard wood and work Grate , we have
 
Jeff Hodgins
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I think that if you want to raise ruminents in an eco friendly way that the only way to go is "NO GRAZING"cut and carry. Ruminents destroy biodiversity on any land were they are grazed often.
 
Abe Connally
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I think that if you want to raise ruminents in an eco friendly way that the only way to go is "[/b]NO GRAZING"[b]cut and carry. Ruminents destroy biodiversity on any land were they are grazed often.

You should do a bit of research on Allan Savory and Holistic Management. Animal grazing is a tool that can be used to bring ecosystems back from desertification...
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Allan Savory may have a point there but it does'nt change the fact that over grazing causes species loss and desertification. For example, in Puebla Mexico where I spend half the year we have a problem with introduced bramuda grass. This grass only becomes a problem when the land is over grazed or tilled. In areas with little or no grazing the grass can't out compete native grasses, but near towns it is choking out the growth of new trees and everything else. Next door they had a nice patch of mallow wich I wanted to get seeds from but due to over grasing the pach is now gone and no seeds were obtained.
 
Abe Connally
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over grazing CAN cause species loss and desertification.  Proper grazing management methods don't have those issues.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
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John Polk wrote:
(I think it is "balance"

Throughout agricultural history, the oxen and water buffalo have been the dominant beasts of burden.  The "acre" was established as the amount of land a man and his beast could plow in one day.  Historically, a 1A plot would be (+/-) 440 x 100' which eliminated a lot of turning.




I don't know about you Rusty Dog, but I for one am so happy I stopped tilling all together! 
 
                                      
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I'm with you, velacreations,

Alan Savory, Joel Salatin, Greg Judy, Col Seis and many other farmers around the world now use grazing to improve their soil. Overgrazing will damage soils, and has caused immeasurable damage to soils around the world. However, with proper animal management, i.e. graze intensely for a very short period then move the animals on and don't let them return until the grass has recovered, you are using nature's way to increase the organic matter in the soil, improve the hydrology of the whole region, deepen the soil, improve the fertility and health of the soil and thus of plants and all animals that live there. This is how vast numbers of bisons used to roam the American Plains and countless millions of animals roamed the savannahs in Africa.

Every farmer who has farmed like this has also noticed that the wildlife proliferates when the domestic animals are managed thus with no loss of profitability for the farmer.

Unfortunately because there are still many many farmers who don't farm like this, who routinely overgraze their land and destroy their soil (supported by the chemical companies as microbes, the true soil builders, don't like artifical fertilisers), the popular belief is that all grazing by domestic animals is bad.
 
maikeru sumi-e
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BDAFJeff wrote:
Allan Savory may have a point there but it does'nt change the fact that over grazing causes species loss and desertification. For example, in Puebla Mexico where I spend half the year we have a problem with introduced bramuda grass. This grass only becomes a problem when the land is over grazed or tilled. In areas with little or no grazing the grass can't out compete native grasses, but near towns it is choking out the growth of new trees and everything else. Next door they had a nice patch of mallow wich I wanted to get seeds from but due to over grasing the pach is now gone and no seeds were obtained.


The main problem is human disturbance and destruction of habitat. Grazers and the grazed have been evolutionarily dancing together for millions of years and know each partner's dance steps.
 
Emil Spoerri
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Haha, oxen have environmental impacts and a tractor and a still doesn't?

The farmer and the oxen will live on for many many generations.

The farmer and the tractor and a still will probably turn their soil into clay within 100 years.

Not to totally condemn tractors, as a lot of work can be done more reasonably with machines than with draft power, but let's look at real life.

Go down to Cuba and see what they are doing in agriculture.
 
Kelly Smitherson
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thank you for sharing the link about oxen

My children are reading the book Farmer Boy, and were inspired to begin training our heifer as described in the book
 
Kelly Smitherson
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Did you find information about work loads on developing young stock? Would love to hear more
thank you
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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