A centuries old friend of man in the field, on the roads and wet soil, ox is also known as bullock in some countries like India, New Zealand and Australia. Trained as a draft animal and heavily used by the farmers, in the past, for performing miscellaneous demanding tasks, this lovely and extremely hardworking animal is now being replaced by the modern technology. Now, with the help of modern technological marvels, like tractor and other machines, a farmer can accomplish a lot more work than can be done by an ox within a significantly less period of time. Nevertheless, oxen (plural of ox) still retain their original worth and appeal and are used for riding, pulling heavy loads, threshing grain by trampling and plowing the fields in some regions of the world. Given below are some of the very amazing ox facts that will not only add to your existing knowledge about these immense utility animals but also serve as a source of entertainment:

Interesting Facts about Ox

  • For the past many millennia centuries, oxen were considered to be the best option for plowing fields, threshing the wheat crop and carrying very heavy loads after being yoked to a bullock cart.
  • Do you know that the average lifespan of bullocks is about 15 years and their average sleeping time extents for about 4 hours a day?
  • Ox is commonly a castrated adult male cattle as such practice makes the animals easier to control while utilizing their potential for riding, hauling wagons, and powering machines that supply irrigation, grind grain and accomplish certain other tasks.
  • For light work, one pair of yoked oxen is enough while, for heavier work, the pairs of oxen needed to be yoked may exceed even ten in number.
  • Exploring the history of the domestication of the ox, they were harnessed and put to work by the ancient man as early as 4000 BC.
  • An ox driver, bullocky or teamster is the person who trains oxen to respond to certain specialized signals, usually verbal, while they are put to work.
  • The signals consisting of verbal commands as well as the body language, given to the working bullocks, are further reinforced by the use of a whip, goad or a long pole.
  • Painstakingly trained from a young age, the castrated cattle chosen for draft are also termed as the "working steers" in the New England tradition.
  • For shoeing the working oxen, unlike the single shoe of a horse's hoof, each of their hooves requires two shoes because of its being cloven.
  • While comparing them to the other draught animals, bullocks are capable of carrying heavier load and pull it for a longer period of time than those of horses, but it also depends on the prevailing weather conditions.
  • The slow travelling speed of bullocks as compared to those of horse has both advantages and disadvantages and, at the same time, their pulling style is also relatively steadier.
  • Considering their usage for agricultural purposes and in hauling freight, oxen enjoy superiority over the horses, and it is particularly because of their suitability for performing heavy tasks in a slow and steady fashion.
  • Unlike horse collar, yoke is considered to be incompatible with the anatomy of horses as it does not allow them to utilize the pushing power of their hindquarters in moving the given load.
  • Proverbially, the ox is considered to be the symbol of fortitude and strength, as well as this draft animal serves as a sign of stupidity.
  • In the traditional saying, a black colored ox is symbolic of old age, misfortune and adversity.
  • If an individual is said to be ox-eyed, it means they have got large dark protuberant eyes like those of an ox.
  • Regarding their diet, they are herbivorous hoofed animals that feed on various kinds of grasses, grains, and some other related foods.
  • The domesticated bullocks are taken due care of their diet by their owner and are also provided shelter against the harsh weather conditions.
  • The oxen today do not enjoy as much appeal as they did during the pre-industrial times, particularly, because of the availability of the better and more efficient technological alternatives to their utility in the modern times.

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