This transcript is automatically generated so may contain errors.
Welcome to the curiosity of a charred.
Episode 26, another big delay
in our recording schedule.
Yeah, but we're going to try
release episodes every
three to four weeks now.
And very yeah,
It's working from home and home
seems to make it harder.
You'd think we'd
have more time, but we don't.
Before we begin this show, I
just want to go over
a really cool looking new app
called Poly Book, which
we've been testing out a
little bit and what it does
is it allows you to
store facts about things you know
and different shows and
podcasts or blogs can also
add facts to their content.
And when you collect them
you can view them on a
timeline or by location and
kind of lots of cool other
factors have been done
in conjunction with Brunel University and
there I think their
cognitive Sciences Department there.
Truly understands how people remember
and recall information, so
it's much better than I know.
Liking tweet somethings where these soon
get lost into the thigh.
And I had a chat with Jay
whose idea the project
is zoomy other day.
He's really nice chap.
And so definitely checkout Polly book
by going to Poly book Dot app.
It's still in testing at
the moment, so going to
block new features to come soon.
Yeah, I think it's a much better
way than just reading articles.
It's a bit more interactive and.
More fun, yeah wide.
Link off to the article so it's a way to
find those articles again and
that kind of extra depth and information.
Yeah, so we've been adding facts,
but I'll show you haven't we.
Speaking of which?
Unless the show on with the show.
7 hours planning this episodes.
It was around Chinese New Year so
I was thinking let's do
something on oxen, oxen.
Yeah, is that.
It's the year of the Oaks.
It is, but that's a
little while Okay now,
but we're going to do anyway.
I member from school
just coming across oxen
were doing things like
proper rotation and then
ploughing fields in mediaeval times.
And then the ox.
They just seem to disappear and vanish.
Anytime you ever come
across the now seems to be cocktail soup.
Well, at least he puts
the town in that soup.
Yeah, not the end,
but on the other side, yeah.
Yeah, so that got me thinking.
Kind of what exactly are awesome?
Because then everybody
being told it's cool.
And I was wondering, are
they a specific type
of bovine animal or
are they something else?
So I decided to dig into
it a bit further,
but it's quite interesting.
How have these holes
in our knowledge, isn't it?
He's just like he think
he needs something or
know something similar, but you didn't.
I didn't never oxen
were properly Santino, oxen are.
They're a bit like cows, I think.
yeah, a bit like cows.
Okay, yeah, that's that's not bad, so
I'm going to go over what
they are, how they used.
But have folks storeys about
them and a bit of history.
And just in general auction, love.
Okay, so there's two
main ways of looking Alex,
and now there's the first Broadway
which spaces that their cattle.
So their cows bulls to
Vine creatures, things that gave me.
Exactly, and it's when they
used as a draught animal.
Okay, so draught animals.
They are typically
used for pulling heavy loads
on the farm, such as different equipment
like Flowers and things or
So today we usually think of horses.
At least we do in the West.
Yeah, horses, maybe donkeys or something.
Yeah, mules could even be a camel.
Yeah, or like around.
A Sunday area.
Maybe llamas and stuff in South America.
So got some pictures here.
Santa sleigh it is.
It's under slate of cows.
Ohh that's cool then ring.
They look like they're wearing helmets,
just wearing hats with
their horns coming out the.
Sides, yes, I'll be the type of
joke that might have there.
So if you can see this
across PC yanquis how
you would basically join the
animals together and that
they would use for pulling
wotever a bit of equipment they
had behind them so they're different
stars and this one as you pointed
out, kind of goes over the horns because
it's quite powerful creature, isn't it?
Could you amuse this hats to show?
Like which oxen or yours?
I'd imagine they
have some sort of markings
on them or something yet,
although you often brand animals as well.
And I think you like
this one this in Sweden.
This picture but.
It's it's a pretty fat
Carol singing aurochs.
Yeah, being ridden by a man.
It's pretty stuffy as well.
So Can you imagine a wild cow?
Mate, it's not the sort of
creature you never think of
being wild, do you?
Know well they were
all Roxanne they were pretty
mean animals but they went extinct
in Europe around 1627
and they were really large and powerful.
And Julius Caesar even wrote about them
in this commentaries and he said.
They are little below the size of
an elephant and appearance, colour
and shape of a Boo.
Their strength and
speed are extraordinary.
They spare neither
man nor wild Beast which they
have espied such big dangerous.
Ivette Julius Caesar wished
he tamed, honoured Ms like a weapon.
Yeah, so another picture here
just to show you so
our cows that we have today,
their ancestors, free pretty wild.
So here's one fighting some wolfs.
Yeah, there was a tiny.
I want this.
One of them is just being flipped over.
For you gotta think of
things like Bison and Buffalo.
Is there relatives as well?
Think how big they are,
so these were probably
halfway between the two
now cattle there first
domesticated around 4000 BC
and they were in common use in
Mesopotamia over 5000 years ago
and farming really took off, so we've
had a really long history together.
So you do you know where Mr Petainer is?
I've got a map here for you so
much patania its base
in modern day Iraq and
also kind of spending
into rod and Syrian going up into Turkey.
And it's between the Tigris and
So if you do any Roman history you'll
come across says a lot as Raymond and
invading into the
Persian Empire will sort there
many, many times.
And it was a really fertile area.
Please look at it saying
it's all deserts, but
it's actually one of the.
Hearts of modern.
Very mundane, yet
well, fairly civilization.
That where near where?
What's it called?
I can't. Remember, now never.
Mind problem yeah.
Yes yes, no problem as
I hear some yeah.
I say pointing to the map.
Pointing, although we got this problem.
Yeah, so problem was
right between the two rivers.
So quite a good place.
Just South of modern day Baghdad.
Anyway, back to ox and so remember
I said it had two meetings, so
we've done the broad definition of
it's just a type of.
Cattle work cat or something or
draught, that's what.
Yeah exactly, Yep.
There is also a more
specific subsection than that, and
I'm gonna need some technical
lingo here, okay?
On Intacta balls.
Okay, so you know,
accountable, so you know
what I mean by that.
Okay, Uninvite Bulls have
an intact bulls.
OK, do you only get it now?
So can you explain that to me?
I was gonna say you might want to
sit down for this and we are actually
sitting down this time recording.
Say many oxen are
castrated males and that
means they've had
their testicles removed.
Yeah, are you okay with this?
So you're probably wondering
why that happens, aren't you, no?
No, just stop.
Smaller house Carol
it's stops but there will be some of it.
Yeah, but I'll give it a.
Bit more and say that the
people don't accidentally milk
the wrong thing.
You cannot write.
Okay, I'll go into a bit more.
I want to close your eyes, please.
Imagine you're in Spain
in a large arena.
The crowd is roaring and
sharing the hot sun, hitting you.
The bake interior
of the bowl shaped Colosseum
in which you're seated.
You're waiting for the big show to begin.
A man stands in the middle dressed
in extravagant clothes,
brightly coloured and decorated
with gold patterns.
In his hand he holds a red cloth.
I'm you letter and
performed to the crowd.
The sound of metal scraper
metre echoes across the arena.
Agate is drawn apron along its edge
and a large powerful bull strides
into the dusty earth.
The matter turns as Lucy
flourishing his red cloth
with this the crowds fever
reached another level as a spectacle
is about to begin.
Done, done, done.
So you can imagine a bull fight
currently, so how would
you describe the bull in a bull fight?
I think it would be very angry enraged.
Yeah, fracias and powerful army.
And they just charge up red.
Say obviously, during a bull fight,
the animals being deliberately agitated
Training particularly angry,
but rules are really powerful.
That kind of a block of muscle and horns.
They're really dangerous.
So do you want to Creekside at
pulling a plough
across the field for you?
Yeah, sounds good say dangerous.
Yeah you sure.
I came even your farm hero.
Jonny may seen people once an
animal that's a little bit more quiet and
controlled and easier to manage.
And one way you can do that is to
lop off the testicles.
Any idea why that might?
Help send they have less courage.
Anyway, yeah, it calms me down to
hormones, but the main
one being testosterone which
is produced in the testicles.
No, no, no.
We we, I know.
It's something you
are going to become very familiar with
over the next few years.
As you get adolescence.
So this might be quite
uncomfortable for you.
So basically when Abel
has no testicles,
it can't produce testosterone and
becomes much more do so and
less aggressive and
much easier to manage so
it becomes a better farm animal
when you want it to pull Flowers.
Yeah, you understand now.
Now I'm going to give you a choice.
Do you want to know how
the procedure is done or not?
Here for the first of uselessness.
Okay, you are doing a sacrifice
here for this day won't be
demonstrating on you.
I'm going to show you a few tools
and techniques that
I managed to find because I I found an
entire guide to bull castration online.
Don't like the diagrams, are
just simple line drawings I found for
her okay nothing too graphic, okay?
Like a fighter, I think that.
So this is called the Alastor tool.
And you can see it uses rubber rings and
what looks like almost like a pair of
pliers or something that stretches
out elastic, bland, bland
and elastic band,
and you can probably imagine where that
elastic band is placed
so you know when you factor
unless it band run your finger too tight,
what happens to it?
yes, and then eventually it drops I.
Would drop off exactly.
I've got another tool here which looks.
More like a.
Very stylised set of garden shears.
Looks a bit like a clinch or something.
At lunch, yeah, I clench so
like a plump, yeah clench.
Speak to cool at lunch.
Okay, so quick that
he's in the shades.
Anyway, after the procedures, performance
and the poor creature has recovered,
its ready for a hard life on the farm
are not going to pass judgement on
whether I think it's right or wrong
ups because it's been so
much a part of human development to
reach the point we have, as
we've basically transformed animals into.
Grafton moved or effective tools for us.
That they like pets but work pets.
Yeah yeah, yeah.
And it's still really important
in some parts of the world,
such as South East Asia.
But if it is done, I just hope it's done
in the best, quickest,
least painful way it can be.
Yeah, so you just make them drop off.
Yeah, if you think about cattle
when we breed them.
We got the females that we
generally used for milk and
we're going to have.
We want lots of them.
Date me for doing that,
but the birth rates in Bout 5050 boys
and girls so we need to do
something with one stating we.
Yeah, truffle often eaten.
Yeah, or turn them into draught animals.
Oh yeah, that's what we've
been talking about exactly.
Did they hook like the?
The front of their horns.
And then that's how they carry them.
Carrie, what I don't know the ploughs.
Order, that's what the Equus.
Yeah, and then there's also
use on castrated animals or female cows
as draught animals as well.
What does a farmer you want to
selectively choose your best balls for
Choose your best bulls for.
Exactly your best balls
and then the not so you could balls
you would discard.
Put them aside, yes.
Now you think about to start a feature.
For me, oxen were something
that turned up briefly
in school, were looking at
the agricultural revolution
of the 17th to 19th century.
Although said made the
event, the starts actually bit later
than that as well.
But as you know, they were
used long before
that throughout the world.
What really transformed
this was the Lake, which
is what you just asked about
and it really allowed us to
harness the power of cattle.
Now the animals they usually worked
in pairs and you have a yoke which sort
of device that sits around their neck, or
in the case of the Fe, two earlier.
Is it like a leash sort of thing?
A little bit, but are you looking ahead?
It's kind of a wooden kind
of firmer brace that gives runners
is more basic than what you'd have
in a horse or something, and that such
important because it's a more
You could imagine it being
used along time ago before proper
horse harnesses were developed.
And it's not actually very good for
using the horses because
just their body shape isn't good.
So they gotta longer neck.
Yeah, and you can't use a yoke
on a horse, so you would have a harness
with horses that was developed later.
The word yoke is believed to
have come from the ancient Proto
Indo European languages and
it means to join all link.
Not just the middle bit of an egg.
So as I said, you're not
very effective with horses.
Which one the reasons why?
For sale, long cows and bulls
and things were favoured into harnesses,
were developed for horses, yeah.
There is one time when you do
need a harness for an Oxford,
and that's when suing them
is unlike horses.
They didn't balance well
on three legs, so you need to
allsorts of fancy contraptions for
holding them up so you kind of a kind
of straps or something underneath
their stomach and you'll be
able to raise them up into their yeah,
and so they wouldn't fall over.
So don't go Kal tipping please.
Was researching this.
I did find some hot debate over
whether optional horses were better.
Some people favourite horses saying they
were more powerful,
but others argue that auction
had more strength.
Why do you know though
is that horses began to gain popularity
and push out oxen overtime,
but horses can be more expensive to
keep and harder to look after
and freeze them cattle so they didn't
make a good choice for the rural
peasantry of Europe.
How different the running
costs between the two are
is debatable though.
A Scottish farmer made
him 40s said about ploughing.
The amount and value of work
performed by each are equal.
Have Arthur Young in 18th
century found that
horses cost four times that of oxm.
But 16th century French.
So scientists, an author,
illegal this is.
Said a horse.
Means more earth in one day than
in Oxted in four.
But Lord Keynes, right in his 1776 work,
the Gentleman Farmer an attempt to
improve agriculture by subjecting
it to the text of rational principles
among the agents, wearied of no
beasts for the draught, but talks.
And so it was in Greece as
the early days of hesitant,
the Dutch at the Cape of Good Hope
Plough with oxen, and makes him early
to a quick pace, as so to
be equal to horses in the waggon, as
well as the plough they
used in the East Indies.
For carrying burdens and
they are fitter than
ever for that service.
The back of an ox being convex
and able to support
our weight more than a horse.
Maybe an oxen could carry out horses?
Back well, maybe yeah,
maybe a combination
of two is what we need.
Half horse, half oxen.
Now claims he was a principal figure
in the Scottish Enlightenment, and
he tried to apply scientific Grigor to
He goes on to say
nothing is more deeply
in their interests into layers.
Site horses, totally in their own
interests and employ oxen.
So he was really pro
oxen and he even compared the merits
of oxygen horse poo,
with the former being excellent at
improving pastures and the latter
burning it to where it fell.
So deadly flaming horse poo?
Has any reason for horses being used
in Britain bad roads
unsuitable for carts with
the farmers that
carry their corner market
on horseback as no one thought to
create proper furniture for
the back of an ox?
You can kind of stick things
in the horses back easier than an ox
is back it seems.
So basically this debate
has been going on for centuries.
There are some other
differences as well, because oxen
can tolerate drought
much better than horses due to
their third stomach, the rumen,
which stores water.
However, heat and
dust can be a killer for them.
And in the spring 2015
issue of Overland Journal,
Dixon, Ford and Lee creates a culture.
Crabs are cuzza crowds.
Covered the use of oxen
in America, in great detail.
This is during the age of The Pioneers.
Okay, so think of people
emigrating further West Cross to Parys.
In the mountains.
Cowboy times, yeah.
With the scene on TV
and forward, he actually
re enacted some of the older
Waggon Trails for a documentary, and
he noted that the worst enemy they
ever had was dust.
Dust, kill more oxygen than Indians
are snake bites or anything else dared
and cattle don't sweat.
And if you've ever
ridden a horse, you know that they do.
He continued the
exterior muscles, the leg muscles,
the back and all those
muscles could be very hot,
much above the normal body temperatures.
But the heart of the lungs
have to be kept cool by breathing
the dust, and that Revs
starts to cut the dog's
nose in nostrils, so
he can't call that air.
So this means that
they really start struggling to breathe
and the mucus builds
up, blocking their noses
and you can put your picture.
Big strands of mucus
in snot hanging down from a cow's.
Nose I can, but I don't want to.
But looking for the
cattle boys like yourself, Anton.
They would carry a rag with them
and they would use
it for unblocking the nostrils.
Just like get a towel, shove it up
their start twisting.
Pretty much, yeah yeah, maybe.
One it comes out the other.
Good day yeah.
Look at look at Bulls ring exactly, yes?
We figured it out.
Actually, you could put a cloth
on the ring and twist it
round, that's true.
But only if.
It's big enough and the holes big enough.
Yeah, okay, so between 1840 and 1869
people across the United States.
Now in film you see them being
pulled by horses, but
in reality maybe as many as 3/4
of the draught animals
were actually oxen.
And the journey West is about 2000
miles or 3200 kilometres.
I could take up to five months.
And these amazing animals
pulled the car to the whole way
and just thinking the cartridges,
all the possessions
that the owner had like
everything they owned
in the world, was being towed with them.
So you can understand why.
You need this voice declare up for.
Exactly, yeah, yeah.
And also the bonds
that would form between animal and Anna.
However, sometimes the
animals would escape
and gave missing, and then the
owners returned to that
location days later
hoping to find them again,
but obviously many times they didn't
and then other times they
might need to abandon the animal, maybe
because they run out
of food or something.
Or maybe it's like hurt its
leg or something and there's one Storey
I found which tells
of travellers finding an auction with
a note attached to it saying.
Please take abuser and
she's been one of the best.
So you can see kind of
real love for the animal.
So pretty really sad to leave it behind.
But the horse, as you know
it's a bit of a status symbol, isn't it?
Who likes to ride a horse?
Posh people, yeah, it's a sign of wealth.
Yeah, as a rider high
above the masses and you kind of
show off that can afford such a beast,
you can look down your nose exactly.
Yeah, there's no clogged up with mucus.
Yeah, so nights, kind of
the neighbours they drive
them into battle.
Wouldn't there be finally
I had this summer this week.
Little bit smaller so
imagine nights running into battle.
It will shut them ponies.
Say maybe not quite as spectacular.
As I was about to do, did, did did.
Okay, no other ones.
That was an alien horse.
That was meant to be a I.
So if you were a farmer having horses
in the auctions, a real sign
of wealth and status.
I've got a map of France here from 1882,
which shows the percentage of ox
and horses as draught animals,
and it reveals that
in the poorer areas or
the poorer or the poor rural areas,
oxen still commanded
about 70 to 80% usage.
So that's the dark.
Like the black yeah and
well in the richer
areas the more market orientated regions.
Horses were dominant
and they might be all the way
to nearly 100% message.
Like that's more
than northedge kind of bet.
Yeah, so just goes to show that
if people could afford horses
they would favour them, yeah?
But maybe they might have
had a couple of options as
well for like heavy lifting.
Ohh really really heavy stuff, possibly.
Yeah, or maybe just like
punish their child then voice.
Of watching the news, yeah?
Saw this out of the show.
I mentioned Chinese New Year and
yes, I know we're
a bit late for that now,
but in Asia, oxen
have been very important to an
in the North of China
there typically the most genius,
which is similar to the couch would find
in Europe whilst in the wetter South you
find more water Buffalo there
and they are very related.
Kind of species again for BSM transport.
Yeah, that's right.
Yes yeah yeah, carry a Jeep.
And water Buffalo there the
perfect animal for the rice paddies
where other creatures or
machinery would struggle.
She seen fighters rice paddies haven't?
Yeah, I've seen photos with
oxen or water Buffalo as well inside.
Exactly, yeah, so
you might even get large
flat fields with water,
or you get the tiered
one stating it would be really
hard for you can use a tractor on this.
No, definitely not.
Otherwise it would just fall down and
get ready wet as well.
Yeah, full of rice.
An also in India a 1998
report estimated that there about 65.7
million auction in use.
About half the world's feed production
is dependent on animals for
land preparation, so that
shows how important draught
animals still are today.
It's not just something
from ancient times.
Yeah, and then the other half is.
Where the animals live
and then get chopped up
and then processed or
whatever and then eaten so nice.
It's important to
remember that the numbers here
it's not just the Oxford
have been snipped.
Okay, some of the
ones like the broader definition.
So there be like female
cattle there, and
on castrated bulls, right?
Yeah, Ohh reminds actually when
I was at school we
were doing at some science homework
and we had to write about.
The Bullock, but unfortunately
I have never been good at spelling and
I substituted the first foul
in the word with another one
more circular one, and
I had a message from
the teachers saying great work,
but watch your spelling.
so in honour of this amazing
animal has long been part
of the human Storey who's helped
us transform culture and society,
allowed us to work the
lands and produce more food, freeing
people to pursue other ideas.
And being immortalised in the stars
as tourists and the Chinese Zodiac,
let's end with the Storey.
Storey time, time to go to sleep.
How the heavenly ox came to earth?
According to myth told
through the ages by Chinese patents,
least we know oxen on Earth are tool.
There are no animals that would
help till the land.
The oxen lift in heaven
with the emperor at the Elks stars.
But down in the Earth,
the people are hungry and starving.
Taking pity on them
and wishing to help the Empress and
the oxen down to earth with a message.
If they worked hard,
their staff know more
and they would have a meal at
least once every three days.
But the auction perhaps
disorientated at big on
Earth after spending so much time
in the stars, got the message wrong.
Instead, he told the people
without the Emperor of Heaven
had promised them three meals a day
if they worked hard.
This obviously caused the
emperor a bit of a problem.
This promise was impossible to
keep as the people, no matter
how hard they worked, would be
able to make that
much food and he did not
want to be seen as a liar.
Say to punish the oxen for
this mistake, he banished it to Earth,
where it would work
the lands hard everyday
in order to keep this promise.
And that is why oxen are such hard
workers to this day.
On like that.
Yeah, it's a nice Storey, isn't it?
So I wanted to take
a moment to think about the first oxen
and countless others that followed him.
There must be so few animals indeed.
Anything else in history
that has had such a great
impact on the development of
humans and our culture.
But that is also being so overlooked.
Would you Dre yeah.
Yeah, she didn't think particularly
in the West where
we don't see them so much.
Now imagine in China or
India or somewhere where they used more
that their respected more.
But for US accounts, accounts
seen as doormen.
I think I think that cows.
Should be in zoos.
Because we don't see them usually.
But we got beautiful cars
over here again yeah, best
milk in the world.
As well as fudge in the world.
We're going to do
an episode on Guernsey Cows one day,
Yeah, I'll see if
I can come to that farm again.
Yeah, so make sure that
you think Ollie oxen at the world,
because some of them have been through
a lot of sniping.
And they need their appreciation.
And I think that's
probably another Storey.
Yeah, did you enjoy that?
Yes, did find it interesting.
Do you know a bit more
about oxen now yes, and do you have
a new found respect for them?
Anyway, thank you for listening and
let's run over where you can find us.
So we are on.
Twitter at Curie child pod.
That's correct, we are
on Facebook accurate iPod.
We are on Instagram at.
Curious child pod.
All, we have a well spur.
Now the dentist out there today.
Must have a website?
The curiosity of a child.
Come where you can find all
the latest donate somethings
and we might have.
Maybe some interesting news hopefully to
announce next episode as well.
But there's a few things we are trying to
put together, so fingers crossed
they'll come to fruition.
Something to look forward too.
Yes, so thank you once
again for listening and we love you lots.
Open please review us.
Because I'm sending you a kiss.
So now you have to review
us because he doesn't give
those away cheaply, right?
Anyway, thank you very much and goodbye.