Training cattle

What is your cattle's weight?

cattle's weight, measured

Rather often it seems necessary to estimate your cattle's weight, either to calculate their requirements of fodder, to administer drugs or to estimate how much work can be done.

  • the chest girth should be measured about 10cm behind the front legs
  • the body length is a straight line connecting the shoulder joint and the ischium

What kind of cattle is suitable to be put to work?

Firstly it must be said that just about every bovine is capable of being trained to undertake agricultural tasks and other draft work.


Bulls, Oxen and Cows

There are examples in history of bulls being used as working cattle. Their chief advantage is their strength, which makes them particularly suited to pulling heavy loads. Bulls, however, are also known for their spirited temper, which makes them difficult to handle, especially when they are not trained or cared for properly. Consequently they have not been so frequently employed as working cattle.

Oxen (castrated males) and cows played a much more prominent role and provided essential pulling power for small farms right up until the late 1960s. Frequently the cows work and draft performances were more important than their milk or beef production. They were truly triple use animals.