Looking for advice to start my own bullock powered small scale farm

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8 years 4 days ago #37851 by cowpowerfarm
I've been trawling this site for a while, looking at affordable lifestyle blocks etc. But after reading The New Horse Powered Farm, I realised I will need a whole lot of PRACTICAL experience plowing and tilling (probably with horses as most don't use bullocks anymore) before I even think of buying land.

I've just come back from NSW after training bullocks there for 6 months. The farm I was at didn't have any proper set up so literally I was just haltering up and walking the boys around. Still good experience, but that leaves craving real working experience!!

I could go to pennsylvania or somewhere quite amish and learn a bit, but was hoping for a closer to home option. I am studying aquaculture for intensive small scale farming and am still unsure how much land i will be cultivating, or even needing for all my needs (house, pasture, crops, bioshelter). I don't even know where I want to farm yet - though Northland seems like a great option as I hate the cold..! Plus also I am thinking of agritourism options - bullock cart rides, native edible plants tours, petting zoo, pick your own berries, as well as eventually training teamsters and bullock teams for other farms.

So what I am looking for, is farms that utilize working horses and implements, companies or people that sell these implements, vintage or not, people that have had experience buying and shipping these implements from overseas is also helpful - ie is shipping even an option! People that know people that currently or used to use bullocks or horses, ANYTHING.

Also I'm wanting to know if there are any NZ bullock drivers associations, same with horses, just anything really in the same vein as what I am doing. I am really looking for practical plowing experience, as well as so I can get an understanding of what size land I will eventually buy, especially if there are any MOs that want a sustainable farm maintained onsite.

Any help would be much appreciated, google search can only take me so far in life [:I]

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8 years 3 days ago #489316 by Andrea1
There's a farm in Oxford (where we live) that keeps and uses Clydesdale draught horses, and there's a local area ploughing competition every year, always someplace different, but in the area, good turnout, so there are more than a few folks using draught horses. I know there are a couple of places in Canterbury that refurbish and make the gear, but I couldn't tell you names. I don't remember. I think there's one place in Templeton or Burnham, maybe, used to see the gear for sale in the paddock, but I don't drive that road often anymore. Perhaps google for the area? Maybe get in touch with the secretary of the Oxford A&P Assn, as she would be a very good start if she doesn't know the contact details herself.

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8 years 3 days ago #489344 by katieb
Pirongia Clydesdales use theirs for plowing & harrowing, they teach driving & import harnesses etc, they may be worth a call or email or facebook as they may have contacts or may be able to help with sourcing gear
They used to run the DB Clydesdales

Ive seen Ox used in Chile...the farm where I saw them was owned by a guy who could easily afford the top tractors if he wanted but he only gave in a few years ago & bought his first one, still uses the big beasts for feeding out etc

Animals rule our place... cows, calves, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks... the list goes on
...."lifestyle block like" 25 or so acres around the house attached to a rather large farm with dairy drystock & a 600 cow dairy conversion :)....1500 acres to call home

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8 years 3 days ago #489355 by Sue
There used to be a bullock team based at a Northland Museum, we met them one year while up there on holiday ('80's). There was also a team doing the rounds of the A&P shows probably in the 90's giving demonstrations. The guys who trained them to pull a dray might still be around-have you tried googling bullocks NZ?

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 3 days ago #489361 by igor
Good luck with your endeavours cowpowerfarm. I like to watch the horse teams at the ploughing competitions but I am very glad that I don't have to use them myself.

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