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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 1.1.

Introduction The importance of draught animal welfare can be viewed from a number of different perspectives; economic ecological, social, cultural, and emotional or effective. Draught animals have contributed a great deal to human civilization. Even in this century, when petroleum-based mechanical and electrical equipment has replaced animals in advanced countries, draught animals still play in important role in certain developing countries, and will continue to do so for many years. Despite the past and present contribution of draught animals to mankind, the care of these animals is currently neglected, with the result that owners of draught animals are incurring losses, and society suffers accordingly. Therefore, measures are required to foster care and welfare of draught animals. Greater care of draught animals will also improve human welfare.

Draught animal power Draught animal power refers to the muscle power of draught animals used for the following tasks: a) Pulling agricultural implements b) Hauling carts c) Giving motive power to devices such as water pumps, cane and seed crushers, and electricity generation equipment d) Carrying loads on the back, as pack animals e) Handling, dragging and stacking timber logs in forests hauling sledges in snow-covered regions

The amount of draught power which can be delivered by an animal depends on the species, breed, size, body weight, etc. The amount of power also varies in accordance with a number of other factors.

Use of draught animals The following species are used as draught animals in various parts of the world: - Cattle (mostly bullocks) - buffalo (mostly males) Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 1

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 - Quines (horses, mules and donkeys) - Camels - Elephants (used for logging in forests) - Dogs (used for transportation in snow-covered areas)

World scene Cattle and buffaloes are the species predominantly used in agriculture operations to pull agricultural implements (e.g. plough, weader, paddler, etc.) and devices (e.g. cane crusher, water lifter, etc.) in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and other developing countries in South and South-East Asia. Horses and mules are used for the same purposes in the Peoples Republic of China, in South America and in Eastern Europe. In deserts and arid regions, this role is filled by camels. Donkeys are used extensively for drawing carts in the Peoples Republic of China and in Egypt. In other countries, donkeys and mules are mainly used as pack animals. In recent years, more African countries have been using donkeys for ploughing and carting. Yaks are used in Tibet and adjoining areas both for haulage and as pack animals. Elephants are used for logging in India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. For logging operations, cattle are used in South American countries, and horses in Sweden, Dogs are used for pulling sledges in snow-covered regions.

Distribution of draught animals The population of draught animals may be estimated at approximately 400 million (300 million adult animals and 100 million young stocks). Distribution of animals by species (in millions) is as follows: - Bullocks - Buffalo - horses - Mules - Camels - Donkey 246 60 27 10 16 40

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Distribution of draught animals among developing countries is shown in the following Table; 33% of these animals are employed in India, 23% in the Peoples Republic of China and 14% in other parts of Asia.

Population of Draught Animals

1.2.Draught animal technology in Ethiopia 1.2.1 Introduction Ethiopia is a country with a population of about 80 million and an area of 1,000,000 square kilometers. Its economy is very dependent on agriculture (Crop livestock production). Unfortunately, the countrys current agricultural production does not meet the food requirement of the population, largely because of high population growth and ecological degradation. Agriculture contributes 52% GDP, 85% of employment opportunities and more than 90% of foreign exchange earnings and most food supply. 90% of the Ethiopian farmers, subsist on rain

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 fed agriculture, crop livestock are integrated. Ethiopia has a large number of livestock of which cattle have more important place (Table 1).

Table 1: Livestock population and number of breeds in Ethiopia and Africa

Livestock contribute 18.8% of the total GDP, of which 80% is contributed by cattle in Africa. Cattle in Ethiopia make the backbone of the rural household economy. Cattle are the dominant livestock species (Figure 1.), they are highly valued because the benefits they provide. Having access to cattle, either by direct or indirect ownership through borrowing or hiring have several advantages for farmers. The main advantage provision of protein (milk and meat), socio cultural needs (payment loans), security (source of cash, investment) fuel (dung cakes) and companionship.

Fig. 1: Representation of cattle rotation and interaction of farming systems in Ethiopia Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 4

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Ethiopia has a large number of draught animals it possesses 15% of the cattle population half of Africa's equine population with 37%, 58% and 46% of all African donkeys, horses and mules, respectively and 8% of the camel. There of animals have an important place in the Ethiopian agriculture. 90% of the Ethiopian farmers subsist on rained agriculture. Crop-livestock and fuel (manure) are integrated. Ethiopia is a major utilize of animal power in Africa (Table 2). Livestock contribute nearly all the draught power approximately 6 million of oxen equivalent to 500,000 (80hp tractors) are utilized in the cultivation of 10 million hectares.

Draught animal technology (DAT) in Ethiopia unlike other African countries, which is very recent post colonial era, has been an integral component of farming system for several millennia 3000 years of history.

Table 2: Draught cattle population of seven major African countries

Despite increased mechanization, 3 billion people living in thirty developing countries still depend on animal traction power for agricultural production and the transport of goods and people. Cattle contribute nearly all the draught power for agricultural production at smallholder level in Ethiopia. Ethiopia has around 6 million draught oxen, which is equivalent to 500,000 tractors; an additional 6 million oxen are required to meet demands. At present 60% of the farmers own either one or no oxen.

Characterization of Livestock Farming Systems: In our contemporary, there are three cattle production systems in Ethiopia: a draught oriented system in the highlands, milk oriented system Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 5

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 in the lowlands (subsistence) and a minor commercial dairy system in periurban areas. However, farming systems are not static. They change overtime and between locations owing to changes in resource availability and demand patterns.

Pastoral Production System: Ethiopia is a country, which is frequently affected by drought and erratic nature of the rainfall hence a national carrying capacity cannot be predicted precisely that is; there is no equilibrium between pasture and fixed number of livestock. Ethiopian highlands have 70% of cattle population while the lowlands have 30%. Traditionally the highlands and lowlands are linked economically in the form of trade. The highlands supply the cereal requirement of the pastoralists. In return the pastoralist supply livestock to the sedentary farmers, which they use them as plough oxen, see Figure 1.

In all pastoral systems the consumption of milk or blood seems to be steadily dropping and there are few, if any which rely almost totally on milk or milk products. In some the reliance is still fairly high. The Borana of the southern rangelands of Ethiopia for example, with some seasonal variations, still consume up to 59% of their diet as milk or milk products with the balance of the diet being increasingly made up of grain. For the Afar, milk probably constitutes less than 60% of total energy requirements and grain again is increasingly the main food substitute. This increase of grain and decrease of milk consumption is in fact more and more the pattern in pastoral Africa.

Nevertheless the African pastoralist is still firmly oriented towards a milk production mode as far as circumstances will allow and has not yet dramatically changed this in favour of selling meat or growing crops. Pastoral areas in Ethiopia, which cover about 0.6 million square km, are generally known as the range lands. These areas support about 9.8 million people (12% of total population of the country) of which 56 % are pastorals, 32% are agro-pastoral and the remaining 22% are urban dwellers. Pastoralism relies on livestock diversity to exploit and make use of the diverse rangeland resources and typical pastoral herds and flocks include grazing cattle, donkeys and sheep and browsing camels and goats. Pastoralism also relies on the diverse livestock products including milk, hides, meat, and blood and draft power.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Role of Cattle in the Lowlands: Pastoral communities mainly inhabit the lowlands. Ethiopian pastoral area is estimated to occupy 60% of the total land area home to 12% of the total population. 30% of cattle, 52% of sheep, 45% of goat and 100% of camel are found in the pastoral area. Livestock in pastoral area are main source of milk up to 60% of the diet is milk, meat, blood and other byproducts. The climate in the lowlands is arid and, owing to the unreliable rainfall, the ecosystem in these dry ranges never achieves equilibrium between grazing and fixed number of settled livestock. Crop failure is also common due to insufficient rain. Thus, traditional pastoralism constitutes the only efficient means exploitation until the introduction of heavy investment or irrigation and moisture harvesting technologies.

Advantage of Pastoral Production: Extensive use of resources = less stress on environment Livestock good investment Livestock survive better than crops Low population density decreases disease Mobility a way to manage conflict However, pastoral herds are poor producers, disease is rampant and reproduction is slow

Mixed Crop Livestock Farming: Ethiopia has 14 million hectare of land cultivated annually. 10 million hectare is cultivated using oxen power. Mostly they grow cereal and keep small number of animals cattle, sheep, goat, donkey and equine. The average holding per farmer is less than one hectare and it is shrinking year to year as population grows. For this reason most farmers around 60% do not own or have only one ox. Cows are not plowed because under scarce nutrition in addition to a work they will completely stop reproducing and hence no subsistence milk production. These farmers they occupy the central highlands. Mainly they relay on rain fed agriculture and draught is recurrent. Thus the have to depend animals for plowing from the pastoralists. Many researchers blame the indigenous livestock as non productive. However, in the highlands the Primary use of cattle is for draft power. Milk, meat and other products are secondary.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Commercial Farms in Ethiopia: A major component of the government's agricultural policy since the l974 revolution has been the development of large-scale state farms. After the l975 land reform, the Derg converted a majority of the estimated 75,000 hectares of large, commercial farms owned by individuals and cooperatives into state farms. Since then, the government has expanded the size of state farms. In l987/88 there were about 2l6, 000 hectares of state farmland, accounting for 3.3 percent of the total cultivated area. Livestock particularly commercial dairy farms were also confiscated during that era and put under ownership of the government control. And currently a private monopole company by the name ELFORA controls all large dairy farms. There is no beef farm or beef breed in Ethiopia however culled animals from lowland and draft oxen at the end of their plow life they are sent to a fattening farms where they are fed for about three months and are then slaughtered to give a fat beef a favorite culture of Ethiopians the eating raw meat.

1.2.2. Draught animal Technology in Ethiopia Draught animal technology (DAT) in Ethiopia unlike other African countries, which is very recent, has been an integral component of the farming system for several millennia. Occasionally horses, donkeys and camels are used for plowing however in comparison to oxen the contribution to traction is less than 1%. Equine and camels are mainly used as pack animals for pulling carts. Despite the countrys enormous animal population very little has been done to improve draught animal technology. The scratch plow stands at center of agricultural system because of simplicity and efficacy in human labor it is used for minimum tillage a method of plowing in which disturbance of the soil does not affect the deeper layers. The benefits are conservation of organic matter, leading to a better soil structure and less soil erosion, better soil biodiversity and the use of less energy.

The Ethiopian version has eight basic parts all available locally the beam (Mofer), the plowshare (Maresha) the sheath (Wogal) the stilt (erf) two wooden ears (diggir) inserted in to a plowshares sheath a yolk (Kenber) and a leather strap (Mangecha0 which adjust plow depth. None of these basic parts has changed over course of plow record history. Blacksmiths fashion course of plow record history. Blacksmiths fashion automobile car cases rather than locally smelted iron the

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 wood used for the beam has also changed from favorite Olea Africana (weyra) to more widely available eucalyptus.

The plow is (12-20 kg) it is adjustable to specific needs a field or task for farmers to carry from field to field farmers adjust the angle of the pull to the desired plowing depth by varying the shear and ear length, adjusting the angle between share and beam or exerting down word pressure on the handle during plowing the angle of the pull may vary also 15-25 degree. The maresha design allows it to break the soil surface at fairly shallow angle an efficient substantially different from heavy steal mold board plows of European origin. The clods of soil pushed to the side on first pass can be broken up by repeated passes depending on soil prior to field use and crop to be sown. Recent attempts to introduce heavier steel mould board plows have ignored the essential element of probability which allowed farmers to cultivate highly fragmented land holding at different altitude and long distance apart. The revolutionary qualities of the ox plow system reside partly in its adaptability but more fundamentally in its clear saving to labor over hand tillage.

Fig. 2: Schematic diagram of traditional Ethiopian plow (Maresha)

Advantages of Draught Animal Technology:

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Draught animals specifically cattle in addition to power provision they are also source of milk, meat, hide and dung for fuel and fertilizer, blood, bone and numerous other products DAT is environmental friendly. They can be produced, fed and managed using local resources where as alternative use of engines require fossil fuel which is expensive and needs foreign exchange (Table 3.), (Table 4) Draught cattle are better source of agricultural power, in water logged fields, sloppy hills and rugged terrains. Can be used for variety of tasks such as plowing cultivation, harvesting, threshing and transportation Land tenure regulations and inheritance patterns combined with population growth will tend to keep farm size relatively small compared with the area normally considered economically viable for tractors Can maintain a labor-intensive agriculture without exacerbating problems of unemployment and encourages less skewed income distribution, avoids illegal transaction of land and new forms of exploitation. Animal traction is in many parts of the world is an affordable, appropriate and sustainable technology. Table 3: Foreign Exchange Comparison

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011

Table 4: Foreign Exchange Comparison

Past Attempts of DAP improvement: Ethiopian farmers have been using the Maresha, an oxdrawn plough for thousands of years. Most of the components of the plough are wooden except two pieces: the plough share and a tying unit. It is cheap and simple, It was considered inefficient compared several researchers and organizations have made repeated attempts to replace the Maresha with the moldboard plough. The animal drawn moldboard plough was for the first time introduced to Ethiopia by Italians in 1939. However, farmers rejected the plough for its heavy weight, high draft power requirement and complicated adjustment and attachment systems.

Oxen were considered to work only for about 60 days a year and the rest of the time they are not used for area productive agricultural purposes. The annual tractors working cycle of an ox is characterized by short periods of high intensive labor and long periods of idleness, with about 15% of the feed intake actually used for work and the remainder being just dedicated to maintenance. And it was considered farmers should try to diversify the use of the animals. Thus the high investments concerning C training time and feed could bring better returns. Draught animals have been used for soil excavation and landscape animals are not athletes, this strategy failed due to insufficient study on the physiology of local oxen, feed utilization and the salvage value of the animal as meat. The failure of International Center for Africa (ILCA) was due to biased research and non participation of farmers. Since then there has been very little research on DAT in Ethiopia

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Present Trends of DAT in Ethiopia: Programs for milk and meat are gaining momentum; there is no corresponding programme in magnitude for improving the system of draught animal technology (DAT). In Ethiopia fertilizer improved seed, water, tractor, pesticides are subsidized or credit is available. DAP is neither subsidized nor supported by other infrastructural help such as credit insurance and cooperatives except vaccination of cattle. Dap is not looked as part of an integrated agricultural production system. The benefits are not appreciated. Modernization attempts have always tried to show only the benefits of fertilizer, water, pesticide, tractor, improved seed etc. Ethiopian smallholder farmers almost invariably plough with traditional maresha, employing a similar technology to that used several centuries ago due to insufficient involvement of professionals in research and development in identifying constraints and improvement of DAT.

Draught power availability is inadequate for timely and proper cultivation. About 29% of Ethiopian farmers have no oxen, 34 % have one, 29% have two and 8% have two or more. Hence more than 60% of the farmers have to rent or borrow one or two animals for cultivation. Increased food production requires additional energy input. Based on the above figure about 6 million extra oxen are required to satisfy the present demand. But this can not be easily met because of threat factors. The following are serious factors threatening DAP in favor of tracterization:

Cattle Export: At present live animals, meat and meat products,. A study made by livestock and meat authority indicates that the country loses about 325,800 heads of cattle through informal cross-border trade of livestock and livestock products. Exported cattle are exclusively sourced from pastoral areas and the pastoral areas can supply annually two million heads of cattle, by deducting the domestic demand and female animals there is a potential for export of 404 thousand heads. However these figures seem to be unrealizable. As Ethiopias human population is growing by 3.4%, by the year 2015 there will be 89 million people (Table 5). To meet local animal protein needs arising from population, urbanization and economic growth, livestock productivity has to increase by more than 5% a year compared to 2% today which is already lower than the rate of population growth.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Table 5: Import and export of cattle products

Although cattle export provides a means of reducing poverty levels by increasing reserve of hard currency. Commercial producers would be the first to benefit but the stimulus of export prices would gradually be felt in the traditional sector, which would be the main source of animal exports. It is an incentive to improved livestock feeding, management and health. Cattle which were exported via contraband, would be exported formally and the country will get a fare share in the export trade Farmers are able to convert their livestock capital into investment capital, enable to store their wealth in Monetary form and this avoids risk of lose during drought and disease outbreak. The number of cattle will decrease, as a result overgrazing will be reduced and fertility of land Improved. Employment will increase as a result of market and veterinary expansion, the benefit gained from cattle export is not without negative consequences. Although possibilities for expanding the arena of pastoral commercialization often appear attractive to development planners, there may also be substantial costs, especially those associated with greater social differentiation. While some producers clearly profit from sales, others, perhaps the majority, may find themselves further ratcheted into poverty or forced out of livestock rearing altogether.

The shift from subsistence dairying to commercial meat operations fundamentally affects the pastoral community. A successful beef -or mutton- producing operation requires a high survival of male stock; both heifer and bull calves must receive adequate supplies of milk. For a pastoral Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 13

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 community, raising bull calves on milk is a luxury to be enjoyed only after human hunger is satisfied and during the frequent periods of low milk production male stock beyond herd reproductive requirements may be allowed to starve. That is, in the hierarchy of milk consumers, pastoral children in a subsistence dairy operation take precedence over animals: Shifting from subsistence dairying to commercial meat production tends to reduce the size of the pastoral population. Commercialization can lead to displacement of labor from poorer, subsistenceoriented pastoral households. This loss of a work force of course further reduces the productivity capacity of poorer households.

Production constraints: Almost all cattle in Ethiopia are indigenous and produced in the traditional sector. The inherent characteristics of these animals is for survival rather than productivity, their small size, diseases and inadequate nutrition mean grow slowly and often come to market at 5-10 years of age. Export markets are interested in younger, larger animals of higher grade. Apparently agricultural pricing structures are operating against the smallholder. Increasing export dose not alleviate poverty unless accompanied by increasing in purchasing power of the farmer. Cash flow problems of resource-poor farmers generally limit the rate of adoption of new technologies unless there is an immediate return (Example milk production). And it is only by improving the overall disposable income and quality of life in rural areas that population growth can be expected to fall naturally. Hence taxation should be minimal and protection of this is enfant industry is required.

Infertility: Fertility in cattle is affected by management, nutrition and genetic factors. Reproductive parameters are good index of production. Some selected reproductive parameters for cattle around Debre-Zeit under farmers condition in and improved management feed supplementation, vaccination and dewarming are indicated in Table 5. From the above table the present reproductive performance is poor in traditional system. But with proper management there is a potential we can improve the reproductive performance by

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 100% simply doubling the calving rate one is able to double the calving crop plus milk production.

The contribution of the bull to infertility is mainly through dissemination of poor quality semen. Bulls are castrated for plowing purpose for this reason hundreds of thousands of best bulls are castrated annually after being selected for draught, this makes to deteriorate the genetic pool and reduces the probability of having offsprings from superior animals. Leaving behind inferior animals to serve the cows.

Malnutrition: Difference in nutrition probably accounts for most variations in reproductive performance between and within the heard. The effects of underfeeding are greatest on prepubertal animals and lactating cows. Table 6. Shows some additional impact of nutrition on reproduction cattle maintained on high and law protein reproduction cattle maintained on high and law protein. The high and low rations contained 150% and 41 % of estimated requirement respectively.

The efficiency of animals in converting feed to food is another factor to consider. In Ethiopia livestock can not be fed grain because of food shortages, at the same time the scarcity of land prohibits the cultivation of forage the scarcity of land prohibits the cultivation of forage crops and the erratic nature of rain fed agriculture. To this effect the main source of food is roughage and crop residues. Any strategy of improving animal feed should focus primarily on utilization of crop residue. Table 6: Reproductive performance of indigenous cattle in Ethiopia

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011

Disease: Diseases and parasites not only cause heavy loses due to morbidity and mortality, but also can affect the reproductive system causing infertility and production wastage through subclinical infections. Also indirectly affect the feed conversion efficiency. In Ethiopia regular vaccination against Rinderpest and CBPP were conducted annually. However, strategic dewarming and disinfestations programme, insuring individual animal treatments and proper AI services should also be the aim of the veterinary services in the future. The ratio of animals to veterinarians is extremely very high (Table 8) man power development is crucial. Hence the Federal Government of Ethiopia has increased the veterinary schools from one to nine and enrolment rates from 50 to 700 annually which is a positive development. Table 7: Age and weight at puberty of Nigerian heifers maintained on two levels of nutrition#

The current ratio of animals to veterinarians is calculated and the result is shown on Table 8. In Ethiopia regular vaccination of cattle against Rinderpest and CCPP were campaigned in the past Rinderpest is eradicated. However, despite widespread prevalence of parasitic disease strategic deworming, disinfestations programmes, insuring individual animal treatment and proper AI services should be in place. According to Mukassa, (1989) deworming and disinfestations can improve age at puberty and bodyweight (Table 8.)

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Competition with Dairy: The milk yield of local cattle breeds can be increased by crossing them with improved dairy breeds. A number of improved heifers and bulls were distributed since 1972 namely Brown Swiss, Jersey, Ayrishire, Holestien, Red Poll and Simental Ethiopian ministry of agriculture However, selection and importation of above breeds were based on individual preferences. Cross bred bulls are not good for plowing they eat a lot have low digestibility, less heat tolerance, have high oxygen consumption, slower, worked less hours and more susceptible to disease and leg injuries. DAP has not been linked with dairy system. Dairy breeds suitable for milk were selected but not for draught power hence the local animal resource was neglected. Table 8: Ratio of animals to veterinarian

The centralization and subsidized government urban and peri-urban dairy has reduced the income of small holder farmer through competition of prices. Seemingly agricultural pricing structures are operating against the small holder. Increasing food supplies does not alleviate poverty unless accompanied by increasing in purchasing power of farmers. Cash flow of problems of resource-poor farmers generally limits the rate of adoption of new technologies unless there is an immediate return milk production. It is only by improving the overall disposable income and quality of life in rural areas that population growth can be expected to fall naturally. The dairy industry competes directly for feed resource with DAP. Large quantities of feed mainly industrial byproducts go to the dairy because it is considered more profitable.

Competition with Meat Industry: At present meat cattle expansion is competing directly with draught cattle production system, as a result of more and more export and slaughter of nomadic heard. And there is rapid rotation of draught cattle in the sedentary herd. Feed that was originally

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 fed to draught cattle is also diverted for fattening to investors. This has resulted in difficulty in obtaining young replacement for old animals and poor commercial value at slaughter of old animals. This problem might be alevated through management of service life of draught oxen that could be adapted by farmers under different strategies (Table 9.)

Biotechnology its Impact on Availability of DAP: Embryo transfer has been heralded as a means of increasing cattle profitability by inducing multiple births but this technology can result in high degree of stress in both the cow and attendant (Table 9.) Table 9: Breeding herd strategies for replacement of draught oxen

The potential of embryo transfer for developing countries needs further investigation. But one fact is that it is the safest way importing animal germplasm. As the result it can be helpful in genetic amelioration programmes.

Table 10: Inducing twining by embryo transfer

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Strategies for Production and Growth: Technology transfer can be used to improve breeding and productivity of local cattle. This should be done by first improving indigenous cattle. However, if exotic breeds suit production and marketing conditions and are genetically as good as or better than domestic stock then as pointed by Smith, 1988 a policy of continuous importation can be recommended.

Based on these ideas commercial herd could be used, as nucleus herds while base herds could be those in traditional sector. This means well, adapted improved heifers and bulls could be obtained from the commercial sector for subsequent improvement of Village herds as discussed. This may be a better step and perhaps a less costly way of improving production other than direct use of imported cattle for improvement of village herds. The feed problem in the traditional sector can be resolved by teaching the farmers how to use crop residues and how to make good fodder.

The majority of the rural populations are smallholders. If viability of dairy development and meat production are to be enhanced and they are to have a real impact on socio-economic development, it is important that small farmers be involved. However, it should be pointed out that the role of commercial dairying and beef production should not be overlooked because of its strategic importance. It is doubtful if the smallholder alone can support the growing urban population if the commercial sector is allowed to collapse. Therefore, it would be wise to suggest that any change should be gradual, leaving both sectors to co-exist.

A large commercial undertaking may do well, but its inability to earn the foreign exchange required for inputs, shortage of spare parts and shortage of human resources to man commercial operations hinders maximization of production, although these problems can be solved by streamlining foreign exchange allocations to farmers. Unless the rural population develops economically and can feed itself, the lack of purchasing power of those who need milk will prohibit the scale of the commercial undertaking as the market will remain limited to higher income group who can afford products such as milk, butter cheese and other dairy products. Expansion to large-scale undertaking is limited to the availability of land, which may eventually become scarce. Intensification as increasing population pressure will result in progressively Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 19

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 smaller agricultural holdings and grazing will be taken over by either crop or other development activities, the introduction of more intensive production system is imperative.

The only remedy here is to improve reproductive efficiency. If the present age at first calving of 3-5 years and inter-calving interval of 24 months is improved to 2 years at first calving and 1213 months calving interval, the number of cows in milk would double as well as the number of calves produced per year. And inheritance patterns combined with population growth will tend to keep farm size relatively small compared with the area normally considered economically viable for tractors can maintain labor intensive agriculture without exacerbating problems of unemployment and encourages less skewed income distribution. Avoids illegal transaction of land and new forms of exploitation

1.3.Animal traction in Africa: analyzing its environmental impact The relationship between the use of animal power, the environment and the sustainability of production systems remains an under-researched topic. There are two main reasons for this: _ Chronological: research on all types of animal power is relatively recent _ Technological bias: research has tended to emphasize technical aspects over socio-economic and environmental impact.

As a result there is remarkably little concrete information about the environmental impact of animal traction and most of that is anecdotal. There are also strong vested interests against indepth exploration of these issues. On one side is a substantial NGO interest, promoting various types of alternative technology; animal traction is almost ideal as a smokeless and sustainable intervention. On the other, are large projects intended to increase the incidence of smallholder cash-cropping through animal power, sometimes at the expense of both the environment and food security. This paper looks at the relationship between environment and farmers animal power strategies and also the factors that might determine animal powers present-day distribution in Africa. A

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 variety of charges have been laid against animal traction in terms of its impact on the environment; the validity of these are also examined.

Animal power in the context of projects Throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa, where animal power is not traditional, its spread is strongly associated with colonial agricultural departments and in the post-Independence era, with agricultural development projects. Plows have very commonly been made available at subsidized rates while training and loans are provided to make oxen more accessible to smallholders. Such activities are of course, not entirely disinterested; they reflect a desire to transform agriculture from subsistence into cash-crop production.

This was quite explicit in the colonial era; the first plow introduced into Nigeria was the EMCOT (Empire cotton) plow intended to expand smallholder cotton production to feed the mills of the north of England. This tradition very much continues with the addition of occasional mechanization. The introduction of animal traction is thus usually bound up with major changes in the cropping system, often switching to high-input cash crops such as maize, cotton and groundnuts with a corresponding tendency to mine rather than manage the soil. In exploring environmental change it is therefore crucial to simultaneously narrate the social and economic pressures on farmers.

Evaluating alternatives Animal power is never an isolated alternative in the present; it exists within a matrix of costs which include hiring additional hand labour or using tractors. As an investment it also reflects relative security of tenure; if a farmer is unsure about long-term access to land then investing in animal power is often unattractive compared with strategies that turn over cash within a single agricultural year. In other words, the impact of animal power use must be evaluated within the matrix of alternatives available to the farmer. For example, plowing on hillsides causes soil loss and increased runoff, but hand cultivation would cause much the same problems. The same is true with mechanical erosion around wells, or along transport routes.

Distribution of animal traction: historical versus environmental constraints Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 21

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 A striking aspect of the distribution of animal traction in Africa is the contrast between three major regions of Africa:
1) North

Africa and Ethiopia

_ 2) West-Central Africa _ 3) Eastern and Southern Africa The approximate distribution of these regions is shown in Map 1. Animal traction is ancient in Region 1 and thus may be presumed to have spread to the limits of its ecological acceptability. In other words, farmers who do not use it are not limited by either unfamiliarity or chronology. It is striking, however, that much the same appears to apply in Region 2, West-Central Africa, where the further geographical spread of animal traction appears to be limited by ecology. In other words, wherever animal traction is feasible, it is likely that users will exist.

Between regions 2 and 3 lie the Republics of Chad and Sudan, both of which have been severely affected by civil war in the last decades. Information about animal traction is sketchy in both cases, although it appears that there was no plowing in pre-colonial northern Sudan despite the presence of cattle-powered shaqiyas and camel-powered oil-mills (Croxton, personal communication). Plows were introduced in both Chad and western Sudan as part of cotton schemes in the colonial era and it is presumed that these persist.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011

Map 1: The distribution of animal powered plowing in Africa.

Region 3, Eastern and Southern Africa, however shows a quite different pattern: animal traction is spreading out year by year from the centres of original introduction. Even though animal traction is not essentially of different vintage from West Africa in this region it has spread more slowly and more patchily. Somalia and Angola are excluded, because no current information is presently available. This state of affairs is largely connected with the patterns of diffusion in the different regions. The spread of animal traction in Region 1 took place in prehistory and is thus largely irrecoverable.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 However, in Region 2, studies such as Roupsard (1984), Faure & Djagni (1989), Bigot & Raymond (1991), Guegen (1993) and Blench (1997a), have documented this process in some detail. A distinctive feature of the West African Region is that draft technologies are the same over large areas; in Nigeria, for example, the same ridger is used in all parts of the country. Much the same is true of the Niger Republic. Donkey-cart axles manufactured in Abidjan, Cte dIvoire are used in much of Sahelian West Africa. By contrast, in Southern Africa, a wide variety of animal power systems are found, often retaining a very local distribution (Starkey, 1995). Even technologies that appear to have a much wider regional application remain anchored in one area.

Socio-economic context of environmental change The adoption or evolution of animal traction takes places within distinctive socio-economic matrices. Broader social and economic trends within a given region are often not clearly distinguished from those specific to animal traction. This section looks at some of the main issues relating to the context of traction.

Sustainability Many development strategies of recent years have been based around the concept of sustainability; classically, for example, tractor programmes are not sustainable, whereas animal traction is. However, sustainability is a problematic concept. Usually intensification occurs when a system has become unsustainable; in other words it is often a catalyst for technological change. Classically, for example, low fertility due to shortening bush-fallows means that a household cannot support itself through hand cultivation. This becomes an incentive to adopt animal traction and cultivate a larger area. However, when the boundaries of farms cultivated by animal traction begin to press on one another, traction may be dropped again in favor of more intensive systems of recycling nutrients, either for example, by adopting pigs, as in some parts of highland Kenya, or the Communal Areas of Zimbabwe or on the escarpments of the Jos Plateau in Nigeria. Technological change is therefore consequent on non-sustainable systems; farming moves to a different phase.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Deforestation Deforestation and land clearance usually take place whether cultivation is manual, animalpowered or mechanical. However, since one of the significant advantages of traction is that a larger surface area can be cultivated, farmers tend to clear more land. Indeed animals can assist in stumping, weeding or in other ways accelerate this process. This type of clearance is driven by higher population densities, by the consequent fall in soil fertility or by land consolidation following wealth stratification, i.e., wealthier farmers accumulating larger plots of better land. When one group of farmers succeeds, they are able to buy up or otherwise acquire the better land, usually level and accessible lowlands. Poorer farmers are left with the choice of either moving up hills to cultivate more marginal slopes or moving further out to drier areas or regions of uncultivated bush.

In both cases, farmers can be stimulated to adopt animal traction, either to produce more surplus for sale or simply to keep subsistence production to former levels. Once the best plains land has been consolidated, animal traction may well be used to open up hillsides. This can be a potential source of erosion, largely because farmers are not immediately familiar with the soil conservation techniques necessary to exploit such slopes effectively. However, without the intervention of effective extension services, a period of learning intervenes before new soil management practices are evolved.

Persistent poor rainfall also motivates an increase in the size of mean holdings as more plants must be sown to maintain the overall yield. This process was already reported in Zambia by Lancaster (1981) for a dry period in the 1960s. Even without wealth stratification, drought can motivate the exploitation of marginal and fragile ecosystems.

Plows and trees Tracterization always implies complete land-clearing. In particular, all the stumps must be cleared from a piece of land for a tractor to operate. In traditional savannah farming systems this is often problematic. In West-Central Africa, trees such as the locust, Parkia biglobosa, the shea, Vitellaria paradoxa, the baobab, Adansonia digitata and the oil-palm, Elaeis guineensis, play a crucial role in household economic strategies. They assist fertility regeneration by reducing soil Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 25

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 erosion as well as improving soil structure. Most species also have marketable fruits and the sale of these provides income, usually to women.

Hand-hoes have always been able to work round such economic trees and to a limited extent animal plows have the same capacity. Farmers who wish to plow their land usually get rid of saplings and bushes and retain the larger trees. The result is a land use pattern often known in the literature as farmed parkland, leveled land with evenly dispersed mature economic trees. Animal power therefore usually creates an intermediate state of tree conservation, reducing biodiversity but retaining a pool of selected species which help maintain soil fertility.

Animal power and changes in cropping systems Apart from changes in area and location, animal power is often associated with changes in the cropping system. A new cash crop, such as cotton or groundnuts, may be introduced and farmers come under administrative pressure to increase the area cultivated. Such systems have never been designed with sustainable agriculture in mind and are often associated with inappropriate application of inputs and soil erosion. Charrire (1984) reports on this situation in Chad and concludes that widespread adoption of animal traction has resulted in erosion, leaching and eventual desertification. Tersiguel (1995) recounts some of the strategies adopted to try and restore fertility in systems of intensive cotton production in Burkina Faso, but concludes that in most cases, the cultivation methods cannot return as much as they take out. In such cases, the use of animal power is essentially secondary to the overall environmental impact, which is primarily a result of the socio-economic changes induced by new crops.

Traction technologies Animal power strategies are often determined by the availability of specific technologies, or the agendas of different types of development agency. Thus, if a local manufacturer is producing a specific type of heavy share designed for oxen, it is difficult for a farmer to acquire lighter shares more appropriate for donkeys. Nigeria is a good example of this, where a single type of ridger dominates almost all agricultural work in almost all environments (Haynes, 1965). The farmer may therefore use a tool which will increase erosion in some agro-ecological zones. Some types of animal traction cause erosion, especially through transport of goods and people. Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 26

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011

Carts and sledges cause tracks to become wide and muddy and occasionally cause soil loss on slopes. Carts have varying levels of technological sophistication; pneumatic tyres can coexist with heavy iron wheels, as in Mali. Where heavy wheels are very numerous, they can be responsible for highly visible erosion. Sledges in Eastern and Southern Africa, and animal tracks near deep wells in the Sahel are similarly held responsible for environmental damage. However, it could be argued that any route of communication which is sufficiently popular will become eroded and that the formation of this type of track is probably preliminary to the construction of a surfaced road.

It is difficult to see what mechanisms could be invoked, aside from aeroplanes, that would not cause at least comparable damage to the environment. Focusing on traction without considering the alternatives is to avoid putting animal traction solutions in a cost-benefit frame. Different technologies are appropriate for different situations; socio-economic and environmental factors must be weighed up before making policy choices between tractors, animal power and hand tools. Such policy decisions must also be informed by an appreciation of household economics; there is little point in making technological choices for households too poor to implement them.

Changing species in response to environmental change Broad climatic trends in sub-Saharan Africa are hard to determine although the decades since 1970 appear to have been a story of ever-decreasing precipitation, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa. Similarly, pasture degradation through overgrazing, once thought to be a certain environmental trend has been increasingly called into question as the elasticity of response of Sahelian pastures becomes better-known. Nonetheless, the vegetation of sub-Saharan Africa has never come under such extreme anthropic pressure as at present. More land has been cultivated and larger herds of cattle than ever before are grazing the rangelands. The consequence has been a low horizon of visibility for many pasture species, notably the grasses and sedges most suitable for bovine nutrition.

This has had two consequences; as the capacity of the semi-arid regions to support cattle declines, new savannahs are simultaneously opened up through the cutting down of the forest in Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 27

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 the sub humid zone. This situation is less marked in Eastern and Southern Africa, where the potential for creating anthropogenic savannahs from rainforest appears to be less. Moreover, beyond the southern limit of the Maasai, there are no pastoral peoples with very large herds to place the same type of pressure on the environment familiar from West-Central Africa.

The effect in West Africa has been a general shift southwards of all cattle populations and a consequent shift southwards of the traction line, the southern limit of widespread animal traction. As the plows move gradually southwards, maintaining cattle for traction at the northern limit becomes increasingly difficult, due to the disappearance of pasture grasses. One response can be to switch to cattle breeds more specialized in digesting browse. In West Africa, this has led to the widespread adoption of the Sokoto Gudali breed in preference to others.

Another response, however, is to switch to species specialized in browse, notably the camel and the donkey. These are generally hardier than cattle and can largely be relied upon to find their own food. The disadvantage is that they do not reproduce through most of the region where they are required for traction and so must be sold for meat at the end of their working life and a new animal bought. Professional camel and donkey breeders usually live in the arid zone proper and there is a permanent flow of males or castrates from this region further south.

In Eastern and Southern Africa the situation is somewhat different. Drought has certainly affected most of the region since approximately 1980; in many regions it has been so severe that farmers herds of cattle have all died. Farmers frequently have no capital to rebuild their herd, nor the willingness to risk continuing aridity. The response has therefore been to switch to donkeys. Donkeys have been in use throughout most of South Africa proper since before the drought, but they are presently spreading northwards from Zimbabwe and southwards from Tanzania as a traction option.

Does the spread of donkeys affect the environment? The belief that donkeys are damaging to the environment appears to be somewhat local in Africa and thus probably more a reflection of the culture of those who assert it than a well-considered empirical observation. Starkey (1995) reports that this belief is extremely widespread in South Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 28

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Africa and has had the somewhat unfortunate consequence that administrator have initiated campaigns to shoot donkeys, to the dismay of their owners. It can safely be said that such a belief would be regarded as absurd in most parts of West-Central Africa. Donkeys can digest a wide variety of browse including extremely thorny plants, thereby making use of vegetation that few other species eat. Moreover, unlike goats, donkeys do not have the tendency to uproot the bushes they browse and may thus be an environmentally safe option.

Traction animals and humid environments Animal traction in Africa is largely confined to highlands, semi-arid and northern subhumid regions (Map 1). This reflects the dominance of large cattle as traction animals, as the other traction species, camels and donkeys are even more constrained by ecozone. However, cattle of some type are found in all ecological zones, even in south-east Nigeria, which, with a rainfall of over 4000 mm annually, is one of the wettest regions of the world. Experiments in Sierra Leone have shown that traction with trypanotolerant Ndama cattle is perfectly feasible, and in GuineaBissau even very small Muturu are used for traction (Starkey, personal communication). Given these examples, it is unclear what has constrained the development of traction in these regions.

The answer may well lie in vegetation density rather than mean aggregate rainfall. Clearing secondary forest in very wet areas is an extremely time-consuming and energetic task. Traditional vegecultural farming systems in these regions, without cereals and based around yams and tree-crops, did not require open plots of cleared land and thus the motivation to make use of traction was traditionally limited. If the land is clear in a high humidity zone for whatever reason then farmers will experiment. Farmers in Benin Republic, where the open savannah comes nearly down to the coast of West Africa, are using crossbred Muturu x Zebu for traction far south of the limit in Nigeria.

Information flow Animal traction is a technology in transition and as such, many householders are in a situation of incomplete information. In a country such as Ethiopia, where the use of the ard is an ancient technology, farmers can be presumed to have tested a wide variety of strategies for improving productivity. The fact that interventions proposed in this century have had very little impact on Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 29

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Ethiopian farmers suggests that they have reached a sort of equilibrium of knowledge, balancing their socio-economic situation with the technical constraints of agronomy.

However, in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, both available technologies and equipment are driven by contingent economic circumstances and knowledge of long-term effects on the soil and the environment remain limited. There is evidence that inappropriate tools and species are used in many parts of Africa. A very simple programme of testing and extension could help substitute more appropriate technologies, if these can be disentangled from the vested interests of NGOs and the goals of agricultural projects. This in turn leads to political decisions which are far outside the technological realm: the choice between rural food security and cash-crop production.

The relation between animal traction and the environment remains an under-researched topic. If this paper has any conclusion it is that animal traction cannot be taken as a smokeless intervention simply because it does not use motorised power. As development projects increasingly include environmental assessment in their design it will become more and more important to evaluate the impact of particular animal power technologies. One method of moving the subject forward would be calling a small workshop to focus on this topic with the specific brief of gathering together existing research and making concrete recommendations for new research and monitoring practice.

Choice of draught animals Animals should be chosen according to the type of work to be performed, the local environment, socio-economic conditions and the availability of local animals. Indigenous breeds tend to be well adapted to the local climate, feed availability, and diseases and to traditional management systems. Donkeys Donkeys provide power for agriculture and transport at the low cost. Donkeys adapt well in dry areas. They eat less than cattle and for this reason do better than cattle under drought conditions and in heavily stocked areas. Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 30

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 They are also lighter and smaller than cattle. Donkeys can live a long life and can be worked up to 25 years of age. They can carry goods and people on their backs in hilly as well as flat areas, pull carts, turn mills and waterwheels, cultivate fields and can even be used to guard sheep against predators such as jackal and lynx.

Figure 1. Girls riding donkeys to fetch water Carts can be pulled faster than in the case of oxen, but donkeys are better suited to lighter field work and cannot work for long periods. Women and children can also handle donkeys. The animals are very patient, hard working and dependable. The common idea among the general public, commercial farmers and extension officers that donkeys are lazy or eat too much is quite unfounded.

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Figure 2. A woman and pack donkey

Cattle Oxen are some of the most powerful draught animals currently used in south Africa, but they are slow and labour intensive. They are generally used for heavy work where speed is not essential (ploughing and pulling heavy carts and wagons). Cows can be used where the work is light and infrequent (planting and cultivating). Bulls can also be used as part of a span.

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Figure 3. Ripping and planting using oxen

Horses and ponies Horses and ponies are mostly ised for riding in highland areas. They provide strong, fast transport but do not generally have the hardiness of other draught animals. They may be used for ploughing, harrowing, planting, weeding and transport. These animals have not been used as widely as oxen as a result of horse sickness which occurs in low-altitude areas. Horses are used to pull carts in the rural areas. Sometimes thoroughbreds are bought cheaply from the racing industry. As they have not been bred as draught animals, they do not do well and generally do not lvie long. Heavy breeds such as Percherons, Clydesdales and Shires may be used as traction animals on farms. The Percheron appears to adapt best to South African conditions.

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Figure 4. Two shire horses pulling a hitch-cart and trailer

Mules Mules are strong, intelligent, hardy and hard-working animals. Because they are large animals, they are more easily used by men than by womenor children. They cost the same as oxen, but are considerably more expensive than donkeys. Mules can be used for ploughing, harrowing, planting and logging. They can also be used for packing and to pull carts and wagons. The animals can work on poor quality feed, under hard conditions up to an age of 35 years.

Equipment for draught animals Yokes, harnesses and in-spanning Cattle are yoked in pairs using wooden yokes, skeis, strops, riems and trences. Longer yokes are necessary for planting and weeding. Trek chains are attached between the yokes and the implement to be pulled. Oxen are strong enough to be harnessed and trained when they reach the age of two to three years. Horses, mules and donkeys Pull best from their chest and shoulders, so a breast-strap or a collar harness should be used. The breast-straps are made from different materials such as leather (most expensive), synthetic webbing, or (least expensive) industrial webbing, belting and tyre webbing. Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 34

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Figure 5. Double neck yoke Check the check pieces on the bridle every day. If you change the bridle from one horse or donkey to another, it may not fit correctly and the bit may cut the corners of the mouth.

Figure 6. Ox with collar harness

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Figure 7. Donkey with breast band harness

Animal-drawn carts Animal-drawn carts can be made by local craftsmen from wood and material obtained from scrapped motor vehicles. Two-wheeled carts are pulled by two to four animals. Four-wheeled wagons are pulled by two to eight animals and they can be used to transport heavier loads.

Figure 8. The Golovan one-ox cart carrying gravel for road construction Sledges drawn by two to eight animals are cheap and brake more easily in hilly country, but they are hard to pull and carry only light loads. They cause damage to the veld if hauled off-road. Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 36

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 When harnessing two donkeys to a two-wheeled cart, it is recommended that the draught-pole be made light and the load centre of gravity be positioned over the two wheels to ensure a minimum of upward or downward force on the necks of the donkeys. In cart design it is important to keep the weight of the cart low. This ensures a reasonable pay load and further that in the case of two-wheeled carts, the load centre of gravity is positioned over the wheels so as to reduce the downward or upward forces on the necks of the donkeys.

Figure 9. Young people carrying water for sale

Training draught animals Animals kept for draught purposes can be easily trained if the correct procedures are followed. Animals to be trained should be properly selected and should not be younger than two years. If animals are treated with kindness and patience and are firmly disciplined they are easy to train and use. People training animals should really like animals. They should never be afraid of them, as their fear will be sensed immediately by the animal and satisfactory training might then be impossible. Young animals are more easily trained with older ones that have already been trained. Each animal should be given a simple, clear-sounding name and should be fed by hand so that it gets used to people, in particular its handler.

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Figure 10. Weeding with animal draught animal

Figure 11. Training oxen to plough: a pair of oxen being led while pulling a log in the furrow

Animals should be taught one thing at a time so that they do not get confused. They should be trained for short periods at a time but on a regular daily basis. In the first week of training the animal should get used to the harness by walking around with it for about one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 When used to the harness it can be given commands. Soft but firm words and gentle whistles are the best commands. Beating animals should be avoided at all costs and one should never lose ones temper with an animal. Ploughing is the most difficult task, so once the animals can plough it is easy to train them for other tasks. Start with shallow ploughing and gradually go deeper. Teach the animals to walk in furrows so that the whole land is ploughed evenly. Always try to end each session on a good note and reward good performance with a small quantity of food.

Training oxen for row weeding Buying draught animals Buy draught animals in the district where you live as they are used to the local environment, the weather and will be resistant to local diseases. Be careful when you buy animalspeople often sell animals in a poor condition. Try to find out why the person is selling the animal.

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Examine the animals to make sure that they are healthy. If the animals coat is dull, it might be sick. Check for lameness. A skin disease is often an indication that the animal has not received proper care. Check the animals breathing and conformation (shape) to ensure that it is strong and suitable for draught work.

Fig Selecting draught animals: desirable and undesirable conformation features. the back and legs should be straight and the legs not bowed or turned in when viewed from the fron (F) or back (B)

Caruing for draught animals Do not overwork your animals. Rest them frequently during work. The load on the carts should never be too heavy for the animal. Make sure that the brakes on carts and wagons work properly. Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 40

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 Grass only may not be enough feed for the animals. Supplement the feed with other food that can be bought from a local feed store, if necessary. Do not feed the animals from the ground as they might get worms. Rather use a feed trough, bucket or empty drum. Always provide enough fresh drinking water. Get advice from a veterinary officer if your draught animal has worms or any other sickness. Never mend a harness with wire because it might hurt the animal. Remember to check the animals feet for stones regularly. Check the teeth for food particles. If the teeth are too sharp, the mouth and tongue can be hurt. A horses teeth can be filed. Ask a veterinary officer to check on this if in doubt. Always check the ears, face, tail and between the legs for ticks. If there are too many ticks get advice on dipping from a vet or the local stock inspector. Provide a good shelter for your animals.

Donkey stable

Tractors vs animal power Advantages and disadvantages Tractors Tractors are more expensive to buy and to hire. They are much faster and more timely for those who own them, but those who hire tractors often have to wait a long time before they arrive to do the job. Draught animal technology lecture notes by SKB Page 41

Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 They are generally used for cultivating large areas and when the soil is hard. Tractors are generally only economical on large-scale commercial farms.

Fig Tractors should be used appropriately and only where they are economically viable Owing or hiring a second-hand tractor for a small farm will usually disempower the farmer. Animals Animals can be bought for much less and are readily available, ensuring that the farmer does not have to wait to carry out his various activities and is in full control of his farming operations. They are less of a risk. Owning draught animals on a small farm will usually empower the farmer. Animals are easy to work with and can, in the case of donkeys, be used by women and children.

Choosing between tractors and animals The farmer must decide which of the two options is: the most affordable and economically viable the most timely and manageable to his or her best advantage

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Chapter one: Introduction to draught animal technology 2011 The farmer may even decide to use both, and on marginal commercial farms this can be highly effective. In Table 1 different draught animals commonly used in South Africa are compared with tractors.

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