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#403571 - 03/30/11 10:41 AM The ideal draft animal for Belize?
Marty Online   happy
From a discussion ....

I believe I know where there is a herd of the here in Northern BZ!!

Last saw them about 5 years back --

Buffalo (oxen), wild or domesticated oxen native to Asia and Africa. Like domestic cattle and some other artiodactyl mammals, buffalo are cud-chewing and have cloven hooves and permanent horns, but they are much larger and more powerful than cattle. The so-called American buffalo are more properly called bison.
The Asian, or water, buffalo is a native of India and other parts of Asia. Measuring up to 1.8 m (6 ft) at the shoulder, the water buffalo has thick horns that sweep in an outward curve back toward the shoulders and may extend up to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) from tip to tip. Broad, splayed feet enable the animal to live in a marshy habitat. The water buffalo has short, stiff, scanty hair, and a large portion of the hide is bare and glossy. In the wild, the water buffalo is dangerous if aroused. The animal has been domesticated, however, and has been used as a draft animal since ancient times. In the Philippines the water buffalo is known as the carabao. Another Asian buffalo is the tamarau, a small, hairy variety of water buffalo. Native to the Philippine island of Mindoro, this animal is only about 1.1 m (about 3.5 ft) high at the shoulder. Two rare, related species live on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (Celebes).
African buffalo include the cape buffalo and the dwarf forest buffalo; both are different forms of the same species. The cape buffalo, which inhabits most of southern and central Africa, is large, measuring about 1.7 m (about 5.5 ft) at the shoulder. It is noted for horns that are massive at the base, forming a helmet over the forehead and reaching a length of about 1 m (about 3 ft). The dwarf forest buffalo lives in forest areas of central and western Africa. About 1.1 m (about 3.5 ft) high, it has a red hide and backward-curving horns about 76 cm (about 30 in) long.
Scientific classification: Buffalo belong to the family Bovidae, subfamily Bovidae,. The Asian buffalo is classified as Bubalus bubalis, the tamarau as Bubalus mindorensis. The cape buffalo and the dwarf forest buffalo are different forms of Syncerus caffer." (Encarta Encyclopedia'99)



the barton creek mennonite community are using teams of oxen, and one pair of NELORE cattle (bulls) for draft work. We are informed that they can do work such as making ponds, using a blade, as efficiently as a bulldozer. the main oxen trainer there is a man, mennonite of course, transplanted from Paraguay


So we now have a pretty clear definition of what a Buffalo is, but what about an Ox
In Ancient England hundreds of years ago before America was discovered. Oxes were used in England for pulling carts and other heavy work.
Meanwhile in Africa Buffalo were killing more humans than Lions.


OX is castrated bovine. for meat we call them steers. for draft purposes, oxen.


Well -- for our tropical country -- after a quick researching --

Brahman Ox would seem to serve best.


brahman is a specific breed, bos indicus is 'humped' cattle. the main b rahman groups are brahman, sardo negro, nelore, mmm and one more that they like up north belize that has long ears and breeds at late age... if one goes to cattle show in mexico, or central america, all these breeds are shown separately. 'brahman, as the americans like to say, the american brahman is NOT same as rest of hemisphere and world's brahman... american brahman is a hybrid c reated up there. they are pretty darned effective protecting adn promoting that breed too.


In Costa Rica it is still very common to use oxen as well as El salvador and Cuba.
There is a lot additional good sides in the use of oxen - e.g. it could be skill with pride to Ox trainer and maybe offer a new angle for youth to become interested in working the land.

Experienced trainers can possible be found between some older people - most likely Salvadorean immigrants.
Another possibility can be to prove the interest for such venture and make training courses at central farm - then apply for Cuban expert. Since we are getting so many Cuban to help in different areas - why not Ox trainer ?

Have seen all kind of breeds used as oxen in Costa Rica - Brahman seems to be widely used, but also some mixed breed, that I do not know what is - but stout solid looking animal with straight horizontical horns.
Seen similar looking animals on tv from cuba.
Costa Rica have a yearly festival featuring the use of oxen.

The Brahman have good heat resistance. The water Buffalo do not -- just found that out.

#403578 - 03/30/11 11:35 AM Re: The ideal draft animal for Belize? [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Water buffalos are in Belize because they were in route between Jamaica and the US and never left Belize, like many people. They are still in Orange Walk.
Belize based travel specialist

#403595 - 03/30/11 01:25 PM Re: The ideal draft animal for Belize? [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy
from Peter Singfield:

Right -- near Guinea Grass Village -- that is where I last saw them -- about 4 years ago. Hugh beasts!!

#404986 - 04/13/11 07:43 PM Re: The ideal draft animal for Belize? [Re: Marty]
rgarcia Offline
Yeah and for a mere US$3000 (or more) you can go hunting for water buffalo with some guy named David Hill - shooting water buffaloes, now boy, don't that sound like fun, Billy Bob.


#404991 - 04/13/11 07:57 PM Re: The ideal draft animal for Belize? [Re: rgarcia]
papashine Offline
I understand that they taste like chicken.
Reality..What a concept!

#404992 - 04/13/11 07:59 PM Re: The ideal draft animal for Belize? [Re: papashine]
SP Daily Offline
More like Iguana...


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