Rural Heritage Ox Paddock

Pure Breeds of Oxen

Jersey Bigger picture


The Jersey is a common first team for youngsters, but mature animals are not often seen in the yoke. Jerseys are curious by nature, and are a little more headstrong than some of the other breeds. Although they make fine oxen, their small size and light muscling make them unattractive to the teamster looking for rugged working cattle. Jerseys are easier to match than some other breeds, and in recent years have been inexpensive to obain at many Jersey dairy farms.

color— any shade of brown, sometimes marked with black or white
average mature weight— ox: 1,600#
bull: 1,500#
cow: 1,000#
temperament— moderately active and excitable
association— American Jersey Cattle Association
web resource— Oklahoma State University

Lineback Bigger picture

Lineback (Gloucester type)

The Lineback is a medium-sized breed that is considered dual-purpose (meat and milk). It is a rare breed of striking color that is desired by teamsters seeking easily matched teammates. The Lineback temperament is not as easy going as that of some breeds, but it is appreciated by teamsters looking for more zip in their animals.

color— black with white stripe down back & belly
average mature weight— ox: 2,000#
bull: 1,800#
cow: 1,200#
temperament— moderately active and excitable
associations— American Lineback Dairy Cattle Registry
The Randall Cattle Registry Inc.
web resource— Randall Lineback

red Bigger picture roan Bigger picture

Milking Shorthorn

The Milking Shorthorn has been one of the most sought-after breeds for use as oxen in New England during the last century. This medium-size breed is easy to train, especially when raised as calves. Many teamsters believe this breed is hard to beat for good all-around oxen. The modern Milking Shorthorn has been interbred with the Holstein, and may be larger and more angular than animals in the recent past.

color— red, red & white, white, or roan
average mature weight— ox: 2,300#
bull: 2,100#
cow: 1,400#
temperament— moderately docile
association— American Milking Shorthorn Society
web resource— Oklahoma State University
  American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

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09 June 2011