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Three yoking systems are used globally to capture the power of oxen. These are the head yoke, withers yoke, and neck yoke. Each system has its strengths and weaknesses, with culture and cattle playing a role in the adoption and use of each system. The neck yoke system offers important lessons in understanding animal comfort and yoke design. Despite its success, the neck yoke should not be universally adopted, nor should it be universally promoted. However ignoring the lessons learned in North America over the last 400 years would ignore animals and teamsters who perfected this system and learned to maximize animal comfort and performance. Using history, research in Africa, as well as farm and competition experience from the United States and Canada, this paper addresses improving animal comfort, performance and welfare by understanding and appreciating yoking systems for oxen.
Agriculture, Nutrition and Food Systems
Conroy, D. (2004, April). Ox Yokes: Culture, comfort and animal welfare. In TAWS Workshop (pp. 1-31).
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