Yaks - "The Grunting Ox"

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Yaks -are gaining popularity across North America and internationally. There is no more versatile animal for your farm or ranch. Find out why you should choose yaks for your next livestock investment.

Domesticated, full blood yaks (bos grunniens or the grunting ox) are known to be a cross between the wild yak (bos mutus) and various local domestic cattle breeds surrounding the Himilayan Mountains. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and have served as the primary mode of transporting goods through the mountains of Tibet, Nepal, and the surrounding mountainous region.

Yaks have handlebar horns, shoulder humps, horse-like tails and long shaggy skirts hanging nearly to the ground.Yaks often live up to 20 years and more. Cows average about 600-800 pounds and around 4.5 feet at the hump. Bulls average 1200-1500 pounds but can reach over 1600 pounds. Standing 6.5 feet at the hump they can be very impressive. Yaks are a member of the bovine family. They come in several colors or types.

Yaks are multipurpose animals

Yak meat is a uniquely, delicious choice for those interested in an alternative to traditional beef and bison.Yak Fiber is comparable to cashmere or angora. The downy undercoat that sheds off during the spring can be combed out, collected, and processed. The courser outer hair or ‘guard hair’ can be used to weave ropes and belts, and can even be used for theatrical productions.Yak Milk, amazingly rich, is the perfect choice for exceptional cheeses, butter, and yogurt.

Yaks are ‘easy keepers'. They require no special fencing needs. Standard 4-wire barbed wire fence is sufficient. They are cold hardy and disease resistant. Birthing comes easily as the calves are relatively small at around 30 lbs. Although yaks do not do as well in extremely hot and humid climates, they do well under normal ‘summer’ conditions when shade trees and fresh water are available. The stocking rate of yaks is greater than that of commercial cattle. A yak eats about 1/2 the amount of forage that a commercial cow eats. Yaks will find food when the cows next door have come mooing home for a hand out and they won't even grunt about it!

Yaks in the Market

Yaks can fill a market niche for nearly any cattleman, small acreage owner, or exotic breeder. They provide a source of breeding stock, crossbreeding stock, meat, fiber, milk and dairy products, hides, horns, and they make excellent pack and trekking animals. Yak at a Yak Breeder to learn more!

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