Rural Heritage Ox Paddock

Pure Breeds of Oxen

Charolais Bigger picture


The Charolais is a large white beef breed with heavy muscling and a rugged frame. The breed was commonly used in France for draft purposes, and is occasionally seen in New England today.

color— white
average mature weight— ox: 2,300#
bull: 2,200#
cow: 1,650#
temperament— moderately alert and active
association— American International Charolais Association
web resource— Oklahoma State University

Chianina Bigger picture


Chianina are among the world's largest breeds of cattle. They originated in Italy, where they have been used as draft animals for centuries. The true Italian Chianina is all white with a black nose. The Chinanina advertised by many artifical insemination companies in the United States may be polled, black or dark colored, and smaller in stature and thicker in muscle than the original. Chianinas are often crossed with other breeds to make them more desirable in the commercial beef market; these meat animals have lost the horns, stature, and athletic build ox teamsters desire.

color— white
average mature weight— ox: 3,000#
bull: 3,000#
cow: 2,000-2,200#
temperament— alert and excitable
association— American Chianina Association
web resource— Oklahoma State University

Dexter Bigger picture


The Dexter is an Irish breed that has gained popularity with hobby farmers in the United States. The Dexter is one of the smallest recognized breeds, and its size makes it easy to feed and care for. These are rugged animals with plenty of zip. They can be a handful if not trained while young or handled regularly. The Dexter is usually black, but the dun color (pictured) is accepted.

color— black, dark red, or dun (mousy)
average mature weight— ox: 1,000#
bull: 1,000#
cow: 800#
temperament— quick and alert
association— American Dexter Cattle Association
web resource— American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
  Oklahoma State University

Dutch Belted Bigger picture

Dutch Belted

Dutch Belted cattle are easily recognized by the white belt around their bellies. Their horns, short hair, and dairy character make them readily distinguishable form the Belted Galloway. This medium-sized breed is easy to work with, but is quite rare, making teams difficult to find.

color— white belt around black body
average mature weight— ox: 2,000#
bull: 1,800#
cow: 1,000-1,100#
temperament— moderately docile
association— Dutch Belted Cattle Association of America
web resource— Oklahoma State University
  American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

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09 June 2011