Thursday, August 18, 2011

For the Love of Oxen

Guinness here and this is my human at the Exhibition.  That is when all the famers from across the Valley bring all their nice farm crops, crafts and animals for display and judging.  Even though it is nice to see all the horses, pigs, and sheep-- my human has always LOVED the oxen...

 The farmer has to match the bull calves when they are young.  Then they form a very strong bond and love each other very much.  Oxen are simply castrated bulls, so they will grow stout and stocky.

Oxen can be trained quickly once the bond is formed-- but they have to be worked regularly. They learn "GHEE!"  to turn right... and "HAW!" to turn left.  They wear distict bells that are soothing to listen to.  They are very affectionate and calm.  Did you know, they follow their master around just like the most loyal of dogs?  It is a sight to behold.
 Oxen are given sharp, distinct names that are different from each other.  Usually a team of Oxen are named Toby and Spark, or Nickle and Dime.  The most common names are "BRIGHT" and "LION!"  My human has always dreamed of  having a team of Oxen and thinks it would be funny to call them "BRIAN" and "LIGHT" instead of Lion and bright--hehehe!

  The harness and collars are beautifully decorated and very extravagant.  The red yolk must be formed for the team and notched out acording to their individual horn and head shape.  As they grow, the yolk has to be modified.   You can not use a different yolk for a different team.  That would be like wearing someone elses running shoes and you would soon get blisters!

 The oxen are the most beautiful creatures to be around.  They are so gentle and peaceful and play such an important role in Nova Scotia history.  They are used to work the land and clear the woods--it is very beautiful to watch them in the field.  When our friends Waveney and Doug visited us from California they had never seen Oxen before and that was kind of shocking!

In this little video you will hear the soothing sound of the oxen bulls.  Just imagine how beautiful it is to see the team work in the field and lumbering along in their slow, sure litany.   CLONG... LONG... CLONG ....DONG....SO LONG, so loooong....


  1. What an interesting post today! Love the sounds too. Thanks for sharing this! G

  2. Love this! Basically...I love all animals but this is really interesting as I rarely see a pair of oxen here. Lots of cattle at the fair but this is different.

  3. Very nice post, we would never have thought of oxen as gentle. Thanks for sharing all that interesting information. Hope your human gets her pair of oxen one day too.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  4. Thanks for taking us to the Fair with you. I agree Oxen are beautiful. My Great Grandpa got lost in a big snow storm, he unhitched his wagon and his oxen took him right home!

    Jo in MN

  5. Those bells are beautiful to hear. Here's a post and a blog) you might like:

    Thanks for sharing about the oxen. Yeah, we don't have a lot of them out here in California!!

  6. Thank you. You've done a wonderful job describing the joy and the ways of oxen. I love oxen, have trained and had several of varying breeds, and still have my first team that are twelve years old now. The bond is DEEP.


  7. What a beautiful post. Do they wear the bells to soothe them or us? Mommy says she'd fall asleep listening to them if she were working Oxen :-) (Mommy's silly...)

    Bobo and Meja

  8. Hey Guinness!
    Wow, this is a cool post! Love the oxen...big and strong. Sounds nice to be around.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, COP

  9. Very interesting...other than reading about oxen in books, we've never seen a team. Definitely didn't know there was more to it than just yoking two together.

    Thanks for that post.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

    Love the Brian and Light, too.

  10. Hi Everybuddy, oh the oxen sound just lovely. We don't see oxen near us like you have but we do have plenty of herds of cows around and we love them. They have such beautiful faces. Thanks for sharing. No worries, and love, Stella

  11. BFF's! That was an interesting read. Yeah, the sound was quite soothing. Those oxen have a good life. Having a best friend and a job and lots of love.

    Mango Momma