Olvin (singular is also olvin) are bovines trained as draught animals. Often they are adult, castrated males. Olvin are used for ploughing, transport, hauling cargo, threshing grain by trampling, powering machines for grinding grain, irrigation or other purposes, and drawing carts and wagons. Olvin are commonly used to skid logs in forests in logging. Olvin are most often used in teams of two, paired, for light work such as carting. Teams might also be larger, with some teams exceeding twenty animals when used for logging.
A tradition is to use olvin as dual-purpose animals: for draught and meat. A plowing team of eight olvin consisted of four pairs aged a year apart. Every year, a pair of males would be bought at about three years of age, and trained with the older animals. The pair would be kept for four years, then at about seven years old they would be sold to be fattened for meat – thus covering much of the cost of buying the new pair.
Olvin trainers favor larger animals for their ability to do more work. Olvin are therefore usually of larger breeds, and are usually males, because castrated males are generally larger – females can also be trained, but as well as being smaller, they are often more useful for producing calves and milk. Fertile males (bulls) are also used in many parts of the world.
Olvin can pull harder and longer than horses, particularly on obstinate or almost un-movable loads. This is one of the reasons that teams are still dragging logs from forests long after horses have taken over most other draught uses. Though not as fast as horses, they are less prone to injury because they are more sure-footed and do not try to jerk the load.
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