Sunday, July 06, 2008

ISKCON Youth Ministry Visits ISCOWP

Balabhadra giving a class to the youth in the barn

The new ISCOWP barn restaurant

Madhava is very charismatic

Kalki enjoys the affection


The ISKCON Youth Bus Tour came for June 30th for a visit. There were torrents of rain the whole day which changed our plans of service in the garden and and a bonfire. Instead we utilized the ISCOWP barns for classes and partaking of lunch. The youth asked many questions which led to in depth discussions not only about cow protection but growing and preserving food, how current events are affecting all of us, alternative oxpower. Some comments:

Radhanatha and Anapayini Jakupo: “Very inspiring and educating tour. Thank you so much for keeping this project alive and for your time to share with all of us. We feel very honored to have been able to visit your home and barn! Thanks!”

Jahnavi Harrison: “I was really so inspired by my visit to your farm. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to see that projects like this are sustainable and can really work! I hope to visit again and learn much more about taking care of cows and organic gardening – maybe that I can put into practice at home temple (Bhaktivedanta Manor). Haribol!

Sarah Silberman: “ I really enjoyed visiting your farm and learning about living off the land the way Prabhupada wanted. Thank you so much for everything. “

Kamala Kumar Mayshark:
“I was so inspired to see your barn and home and to see the amount of self efficiency in your family. Your cows are beautiful!”

2 comments:

lakshmi said...

HAre Krishna
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Dear Balabadra, Do you have a place where people can write in with questions. I have a few
1) I have a lone ox. Id like to use a collar like horses use rather than one of the heavy wood types. WIll this work and do you have any suggestions on which type?
2) At what age do you castrate the bulls that will be for working oxen?
3)I would rather NOT have horns, but is it impractical to have a ox without horns?
4) Since Im getting old, with bad back I need a well trained animal and want/need to have control easily, what do you think of bits and do you have any suggestions? what type, where to get it etc
5) When is your next course for ox teams. Im thinking of bring my boy is that possible? I dont have anyone to help me really so I figure I need to do it myself, I want to do it right so perhaps I better go to a training course.
All my cows are trained to wear halter and be tied.I like to start at a young age before they are too big.
So I need to get some equipment soon for my new bull calf-

All the best,
ys
Lakshmi Kary in ca

Balabhadra das said...

adheyDear Lakshmi,

Hare Krsna.

Thank you for your comments. Currently I am training a young team of Brown Swiss. They will be 2 years old in late December. I am also doing the basic training with the young Brahman bulls. Each day they are becoming more and friendlier, and I feel they will be a very dynamic team. They are very aware of their surroundings and we are developing a very close bond.

Regarding your visit I will contact you by separate mail. We do have people come here to train and learn in an exchange of training for labor on the farm which varies greatly according to the individual. A cabin is available for trainees, but that is occupied right now with one couple who I am training. Lets discuss more through email.

Regarding your questions.

>1) I have a lone ox. Id like to use a collar like horses use rather than one of the heavy wood types. Will this work and do you have any suggestions on which type

Yes, it is possible to use the horse collars for the oxen. When the horse collar is used it is generally turned upside down. I will send you some photos of the oxen being worked at the farm in Czech Republic farm. There is also a booklet I will get for you.

>2) At what age do you castrate the bulls that will be for working oxen?

The old timers would castrate them around 1 year old. I have tried to let my bulls go till that age but about 8 to 10 months they are just acting too much like little bulls and jumping on everyone and everything and getting hard to handle. Depending on the animal that I have worked with I have usually had to castrate them between 8 and 10 months. We use a tool called a Burdizio which crimps the spermatic cord in each testicle. It is referred to as "Bloodless Castration". There is no cutting and removal of the testicles. After the crimping of the spermatic cord the testicles, over time, will simply dissolve in the sacks. I have the vet come and do the procedure. Before the procedure we give the animals a general anesthesia. The procedure takes about 2 minutes on a side and when the anesthesia wears off the animals are up and eating, albeit walking a little sore for a couple of days.

>3) I would rather NOT have horns, but is it impractical to have a ox without horns?

Horns are essential. Dehorning is very painful and a good many vets will not do it as it is very painful to the animals as well as very bloody.

>4) Since Im getting old, with bad back I need a well trained animal and want/need to have control easily, what do you think of bits and do you have any >suggestions? what type, where to get it etc.

Bits are used with horses as horses are historically controlled by the mouth. Bulls are historically controlled by the nose. Hence nose rings. However, I don’t use nose rings as I consider them to be very painful for the animals.

The first and foremost part of controlling your oxen is by establishing with them a bond of friendship and trust. They must know that you are the boss and whatever command you give to them you expect them to carry through. You will need to convey to them that you will never put them in harms way or abuse them.

The "old timers" say that if you get angry with your animals you should immediately put them away as your anger can "spoil" them. The term "spoil" means that they will not have faith in you to take care of them in a safe loving way.

The type of training we are using is by "Voice Command" so in the training process they need to know their names and how to respond to the different commands. There is a certain part of the animal’s body which can also be touched with the "Lash" or "Stick" which is carried by the teamster. The "Lash" is to emphasize the command and is not used to beat or harm the animal in anyway. You can also use a halter with a lead rope attached in case of emergency.

>5) When is your next course for ox teams. I’m thinking of bring my boy is that possible? I don’t have anyone to help me really so I figure I need to do it myself, I >want to do it right so perhaps I better go to a training course.

I will contact you by separate post concerning this information.

I hope you are well and look forward to helping you in way that I can.

ys,

Balabhadra das