Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Scout the Ox Begins His Second Winter --- With a Smile
Before Trimming Hooves, the Medial Claws Rocked Back and Curled In
I posted the following on Riding Steers Forum on October 25th, 2010:
"I brought Scout onto the concrete Saturday and was soo-o discouraged with his front hooves. I was able to get the lateral claws trimmed to stand up pretty good, but the medial claws are so rocked back that all the weight they bear is on the heel. He showed this tendency very young.
This is not uncommon in dairy cattle (I trimmed cattle hooves full time for a couple of years), but, the main reason I bought my calf from the dairy I did, was that they never had hoof problems --- always good solid feet!
Sometimes you can do everything right and still get bad results."
Five Days After Hoof Trimming the Hooves Stand Up Straight
I'm very pleased with the results of the trimming. Scout is standing up normal now.
Before anyone attempts trimming cattle hooves, I highly recommend study, and hands on training (Practicing on hooves salvaged from a butcher shop is in order). It would be easy to cripple an ox by making trimming mistakes.
Scout the Ox had overgrown hooves at an unusually young age. To see before and after photos of that click Hoof Trimming Calf.
Towing my lawn tractor back to the shop for repairs reminded me of the Bennett Buggy and the Hoover Wagon of The Great Depression. Folks who had purchased automobiles in the good years before the economic downturn now found that they either couldn't afford gasoline or it wasn't available --- a number of automobiles had their engines removed and were hitched to oxen or horses to provide transportation.
Ox Team pulls 1933 Bennett Buggy, Crescent Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Bennett Buggy Pulled by an Ox and Horse Teamed Together. Saskatchewan, Canada
The Bennett Buggy was named after Prime Minister of Canada, Richard Bennett, and the Hoover Wagon was named after the President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. Both served during The Great Depression of the 1930's. I have not found a photo of a Hoover Wagon; does anyone have one?
Monday, November 29, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
To learn more about riding-steers join the discussion at http://ridingsteers.freeforums.org/index.php
Friday, November 26, 2010
Monk with Single Ox and Cart
The monks at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Valley used oxen to work on their 530 acres of land in the town of Cumberland R.I. The monks were of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance founded in 1098. After a fire destroyed their abbey in Nova Scotia in 1892 they migrated to R.I. around 1900. I wonder if they brought their oxen with them, as oxen were frequently used in Nova Scotia.
Stone was quarried from the monastary property, by the monks, to erect buildings. Oxen moved materials from place to place and helped with the farming by plowing the fields; hooded monks could be seen laboring in the fields along with the oxen.
They also sold items in their gift shop; I expect that may be the source of the postcards from which this photo of the ox originated. In 1950 much of the monastery was again destroyed by fire. The Cumberland public library now occupies the site of the previous Monastery of Our Lady of the Valley.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Being a large specimen with desirable characteristics of what would become the Shorthorn breed, the Durham Ox was toured around England riding in a special wagon pulled by four horses. I find nothing on record to suggest he was ever used as a draft animal. Estimates of his weight ran as high as 270 stone (1,715 kilograms or 3,781 pounds).
He dislocated a hip in 1807 while unloading from his wagon. When the hip failed to heal, and the ox was slaughtered (two-months later), he had apparently lost some condition; his carcass weighed in at only 189 stone (1,200 kilograms or 2,646 pounds); still quite a large animal.
The Durham Ox had become so popular that he became the subject of several famous turn-of-the-century paintings, and several English inns and pubs are named after him.
A Durham Ox Dinner Platter
Monday, November 22, 2010
This is Bovine Beauty's Holstein, steer calf --- Fuzz.
And this is Bovine Beauty with Fuzz at an intermediate date.
As you can see in this more recent photo, at 2.5 years Fuzz has become a substantial riding steer. He is now taller than his trainer.
Bovine Beauty and her steer Fuzz are good at traffic control --- they stop it!
According to Oxen: A Teamster's Guide, Holstein steers will average 2,500 pounds (1,135 kg.) mature weight. They grow rapidly and are a docile breed.
To learn more about the use of riding steers, or to join in the riding steers discussion, please visit the Riding Steers Forum. The forum is friendly, free, and open to anyone with an interest in riding steers (bulls, or cows). Auf Deutsch: reitkuh
(Bovine Beauty is the screen name for this individual, on the Riding Steers Forum. The above four photos are copyrighted and used here with the copyright owner's permission. Copyright Law applies.)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
A: Dogs Might Have Something To Do With It.
Squeak the Kitten turned up missing one evening. After it got dark and he still hadn't shown up, I searched the yard with a dim flashlight and couldn't see or hear anything. In the morning before the sun came up I let Harry the Dog out of the pasture (where he spends the night with Scout the Ox) and called "kitty, kitty." Harry trotted off around the two large-bales, behind the garden, through the brush, and across the backyard to a pine tree --- where he stopped and looked up.
There was Squeak, as seen in the above picture. He'd spent the night in the tree. It was his first time out of the house overnight, and it was cold. Though cats climb trees quite naturally, I've heard they have to be taught by their mothers how to climb back down. Niether Squeak nor Soapy were raised by mother cats. I plucked him from the branch, handed him to Sherry, and rushed off to work.
I don't know if it was Harry the Dog's awesome nose that had come to the rescue, or if he had something to do with getting Squeak up the tree in the first place? (The latter is not hard to imagine!)
The next evening I looked out our window and saw Squeak and Soapy climb up about three feet high on the elm tree, and then climb back down. I guess they had decided it was time to get some practice.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Grandson keeps the ox cart ride animated.
(I think he lost a few teeth on that one!)
Training the steer, Scout the Ox, to cross a roadway while pulling
a very-precious passenger in the cart.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Harry the Dog has some fun leading Scout the Ox down the drive-way. They invented this interspecies play themselves, one evening last Winter. See photos at http://storybrookeripples.blogspot.com/2010/02/serendipitous.html
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
. . . .you hear a cowbell. . . .then a steer comes charging around the corner. What's the first thought that comes to mind?
He's a friendly fellow, Scout the Ox. I was sitting cross-legged in the trail when he trotted up to me and stuck his wet nose on my camera lens. When we walk sometimes he gets taken up with grazing and gets left behind. When he realizes he is alone he comes running to find us.