Are yaks good mothers?
Adult cows normally make good mothers, however; first time mothers need to be watched for the first week or so after the calf is born. Yaks with young calves can be aggressive.
Do yak mothers have easy births?
Generally yes, due to small calf size. Although rare, they can have some of the same problems other bovines do with abnormal presentations.
Do yaks produce fiber?
Yes – naturally shed downy fiber can be harvested by combing in spring & early summer. Course guard hair for rope and bags is sheared.
Treats? There are several different treats than can be offered: Horse cookies, Nutrena Senior grain, or cattle cakes. Your yak will often choose their favorite.
Do yaks need supplements?
They require white salt and a multi mineral with copper year-round. Additional protein can be supplemented when strictly feeding hay.
How much do they eat?
Approximately 1-3% of their body weight per day. Calves consume approximately 3lbs per day and adults about 15 lbs of quality forage or hay per day.
Do you have to trim the hooves?
Normally once a year is adequate depending on the soil type and terrain where the animal lives.
Do you worm yaks?
Yes, how often depends on your location. Ivomectin is the most popular but should be alternated to prevent resistant parasites. Pour-ons are effective, injectable is more certain.
What is their temperament?
Yaks are fully domesticated. Well socialized animals can be very friendly with rich personalities.
What do yaks cost or sell for?
Pricing varies depending on temperament, pedigree and type of coat; with pet, super woolly animals commanding the highest prices. Typically prices start at $1,500 to above $10,000.
Vaccines? Yearly with at least 7 or 8 way (some use 11 way). Calves need a booster 1 month after the first injection. Ask your Vet!
When can you wean yak calves?
Generally between 4 & 6 months.
Are yaks easy to fence?
Yaks are easy to contain once they know the pasture they are in is home. They can crawl under or jump over 4 wire fencing if they really want out.
Nicole Porter-Salvato, PhD is one of the owners of Prairie Sky Sanctuary and Ranch, a horse and Tibetan yak ranch in South Western Wisconsin. She’s trained in epigenetics and epidemiology, an avid IYAK supporter, BOD member and yak lover. She and her husband, Dan, love to talk about yak and are always available to answer questions or provide resources.