For truly small farms, these draft animals can be quite useful in their own way, transporting tools, produce, firewood, small children, or whatever else is required.
While dual-purpose livestock breeds are not exactly commonplace anymore, they are frequently favorites on many small farms and homesteads. Chicken breeds that are suitable for both meat and eggs are probably the most common, followed by cattle that can serve meat, milk, and draft purposes alike. But there are also sheep suitable for fiber, meat,Continue reading “Pros and Cons of Dual-Purpose Livestock”
Are draft animals outdated? Definitely not, teamsters of all types would be happy to tell you. Draft animals have several advantages over machinery, especially when it comes to sustainable agriculture. They don’t require petroleum to run, they are less likely to compact the soil, and they can provide a valuable boost to soil nutrient levels.Continue reading “3 Promising Niches for Draft Animals”
Those who are considering draft animals generally find themselves comparing oxen, horses, and mules. Donkeys do not receive nearly as much attention in the draft world, but that is not to say they can’t pull their own weight around the farm! The donkey breed best suited to farm work is the American Mammoth Jackstock. LargerContinue reading “Which Draft Animal is Right for You?: Donkeys”
The mule has long been used as a draft animal, but it has been particularly associated with the hot climate of the South. It is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. While there aren’t exactly breeds of mule, not all mules are created equal. The build of both the jack andContinue reading “Which Draft Animal is Right for You?: Mules”
The horse has always been and still remains a great favorite with some who work with draft animals. It is widely in use among the Amish, and it has enjoyed the attentions of homesteaders and small farmers of all stripes in recent years. While heavy horses are the ones commonly thought of as draft horses,Continue reading “Which Draft Animal is Right for You?: Horses”
Considering adding animal power to your farm? Many who seek sustainability in their fields love the idea of working with a living team that is not dependent on fuel and that can contribute to the fertility of the soil. Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of draft animals in general, you are ready toContinue reading “Which Draft Animal is Right for You?: Oxen”
Ready for 25 more skills to build on the ones you mastered previously? This set is considerably more advanced than the first, so take your time and be prepared for the learning curve.
The beef, dairy, and dual-purpose breeds our readers are researching.
We are excited to announce the release of a new book—Choosing a Breed of Cattle: 5 Needs and 40 Breeds for Selecting Cattle That Fit Your Purpose by Michelle Lindsey! When you start by assessing the five needs of every future cattle owner, choosing between the many breeds of cattle available today suddenly becomes muchContinue reading “Choosing a Breed of Cattle”