To complement our collection of historic buildings, visitors to the Museum are able to see examples of traditional livestock associated with the south east of England.
In early August, two Sussex cattle steers joined our collection and we are training them to carry out traditional farming tasks, which will help to illustrate farming practices of the past for our visitors.
For centuries Sussex cattle were used as draught animals to cultivate land, and to pull wagons and timber tugs. They were far too valuable to slaughter for meat (until they were too old to work).
Plough oxen need very heavy forequarters to bear the weight of the yoke and their shoulders were well developed compared with their hindquarters.
Whilst we cannot recreate the specialised draught type of Sussex cattle, ours are their direct descendants and a living link with a vanished farming system.
Our thanks go to Lord Egremont and the Petworth Estate for the latest additions to our livestock.