Having a Single Ox? Breeds?

Shalom Farm

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 23, 2013
246
14
83
Florida
So I've developed an allergy to every animal except-chickens and cattle.

For my power, I have used horses. Quiet frankly after a lifetime of working with them-I'm looking for something calmer, slower, and steadier that can be my all-in-one animal.

The problem is I don't have room for 2 oxen. Just one. Being use to the behavior of horses- I'm cautious about having a single animal of its type.

Is the Ox going to freak out if I separate it from a smaller herd animal like a goat (Which my allergies tolerate)? Or do they tend to work happily with just their caretaker?
 

aprille218

Songster
11 Years
May 1, 2009
227
15
146
northern MN
They should have a herd setting of some type. Another Ox would be best but some do fine with other animals. As for breeds any beef type or cross should be fine. Look for friendly but respectful calves to start out with or already trained ox.
 

Cowgirl71

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
3,176
78
221
Missouri Ozarks
So I've developed an allergy to every animal except-chickens and cattle.

For my power, I have used horses. Quiet frankly after a lifetime of working with them-I'm looking for something calmer, slower, and steadier that can be my all-in-one animal.

The problem is I don't have room for 2 oxen. Just one. Being use to the behavior of horses- I'm cautious about having a single animal of its type.

Is the Ox going to freak out if I separate it from a smaller herd animal like a goat (Which my allergies tolerate)? Or do they tend to work happily with just their caretaker?



Cattle can be buddy sour too, just like horses. They don't like to be singled out from the herd. But they're much easier to work with and more level headed. They love food and treats and so can be easily won over. Cattle love and quickly adapt to a routine. My milk cows have quickly learned the milking routine and are happy to temporarily leave the herd and go in to the barn and right into their stanchion, because they know they'll get a treat, their full udder will be emptied, and when we're done they are free to join the herd again. Nothing terrible happens, it's a predictable routine, and it's all good.

I would really suggest getting at least two bovines. Cattle are herd animals and a goat is a far cry from another bovine. A goat would be better than nothing but not by much. Maybe the 2nd bovine could be a mini?

Beef type would definitely be better than dairy if you're wanting to do heavy work. Steers are the calmest and so easiest to work with.

What kind of stuff will you be doing? Some people have pack goats and goats that pull stuff. You could likely keep 6-8 goats in the same space a ox or horse would take.
 

Cowgirl71

Songster
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
3,176
78
221
Missouri Ozarks
Why not try 2 "miniature" breed oxen? Dexters, Devons, Scottish Highland, etc.

Mt. Vernon has 2 Devon oxen - I cannot remember their name. They are easily half the size of the Holstein oxen I used to see at county fairs as a child.


This is a good idea! Two minis would require about the same amount of food and space as a single large-breed ox.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,777
36,914
1,096
southern Michigan
Hi, my husband has had oxen for many years, and is a founding member of the Midwest Ox Drovers ***'n. There is a website, and Tillers International in Kalamazoo Mich. has our annual meeting in June, and has training workshops. Dual purpose breeds are best, not beef breeds, and Dexters or other small cattle will be good. In Florida, consider Brahma crosses and related breeds because of the heat. Temperment is the most important trait to select for, in addition to health and breed type. One bovine is as unhappy as one horse would be, although you can have a single ox working rather than a team. Mary
 

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