Our wonderful traditional Afrikaner cattle continue to delight visitors to the farm.
The photos below tell their own story.
The Afrikaners pull their weight
There seems to be no limit to what these stalwart beasts of burden can do. The weekly clean-up has now been extended to daily clean-up. The oxen work in pairs rotating every lunch time.
Their duties are general haulage of anything that needs to go from A to B. The full 12 oxen span will be working daily from Friday onwards to entertain the Kalahari Sunrise guests.
There are not many places left in South Africa where traditional Afrikaner oxen are bred, trained, and used.
Our breeding herd now consists of mature cows and calves with lots of young oxen developing steadily towards the point where they will join the working span. In fact, we are close to creating a second working span oxen.
Our pictures show the oxen at rest.
Update on Sandstone's oxen
10 November 2011
Our oxen continue to work hard for the farm. Here a number of them are doing the weekly rubbish collection. It is nice to think that we are not putting them in the hands of Middle East oil producers just because we need to remove our rubbish.
29 September 2011
Our oxen have really been putting their shoulder to the wheel recently working hard, day in, day out. We are moving towards building our span to 12 oxen working together.
Sandstone purchases new Afrikaner Bull
Sandstone Estates has purchased a new Afrikaner bull from an excellent traditional Afrikaner blood line. This bull will sire a new generation of young oxen that will be trained to maintain the tradition at Sandstone Estates of using oxen in the traditional way to carry out various tasks on the farm.
Our breeding herd of Afrikaner oxen and indeed the oxen themselves are great favourites at Sandstone Estates. A recent visitor from Australia made this point in a recent e-mail to us:
Sent: 24 May 2011 06:58
As planned, Anne, my wife and I visited Sandstone and we wish to express our thanks for a very pleasant and memorable experience. Viewing your collection of wagons was particularly useful in educating myself of various forms of construction and style.
In a previous email you mentioned a lack of provenance. Even without that link it is possible to identify the builder of some wagons. Close inspection of construction style and individual components can offer clues. I am of the opinion that the fore-carriage is the most important assembly for this, especially the method by which the fore-tongue is strengthened or supported. Another is the form of the iron parts. Unfortunately to develop an understanding of the style differences between various builders requires much research and time.
Another outstanding event during the visit was to see Afrikaner Cattle. I had no idea how big and magnificent these animals are. The horns are impressive and the colour and lustre of their hide is sensational.
I had two train sets when I was a boy, a Hornby and a Lionel. They were fun but 'Oh Boy' yours is on a scale which warrants astonishment. All that fabulous machinery was a great distraction from the objective of my visit. Looking first at the simple construction of wagons and then the complexity of steam locomotives gives an instant example of the advancement and ability of man. As I type on my PC, alongside is a box of pencils.
I trust your special event weekend was a steaming success.
I am developing a 'crush' on South Africa.
Many and sincere thanks,
The cattle have settled down for the winter and every effort is made to keep them warm and secure during the very cold Eastern Free State winters.
Their accommodation is currently being extended as per the photographs below.
Peter Webb sent in these pictures of our Afrikaner family... truly the pride and joy of Sandstone
The Sandstone oxen work for their living.
Picture taken 4th April 2011.
Afrikaner Oxen update
15 June 2011
Despite the freezing conditions and the likelihood of snow our Afrikaners seem to be in good spirits.
A number of people attending next month's Steam Gala event have asked specifically that the Afrikaner oxen be available.
They will be out every single day during the event so photographers should have no trouble capturing images involving our wonderful traditional Afrikaner oxen.
These pictures were taken during the week.
Update on our Afrikaner cattle
The Eastern Free State winters are cold, very cold, so the oxen enjoy basking in the sun during the day. They have to be fed extremely well to help them cope with the sub zero temperatures at night.
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