Posts in Health
What I've Learned from (and about) Yaks 104

The Tibetan people relied on them heavily for everyday life (and some still do).  Every part of the yak was utilized. They milked them and made cheese and yogurt with the milk.  They combed out their fiber to spin into yarn. The hides were used. Even the manure was collected and dried to use as fuel.  They ate the yak meat. Tibetans rode yaks and used them as pack animals.

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I’m No Expert... What I’ve Learned from (and about) Yaks 102

One thing farming has taught me to appreciate is the beauty of our world.  There are the easy things to appreciate like the awe-inspiring sight of a herd of yaks running towards you through a pasture.  Their tails are raised, their fiber is flowing in the wind, and their tongues are hanging out! Seeing a group of calves playing king of the mountain on a mound of manure is also beautiful.  

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HealthSusanne Drumm
USDA Yak Meat

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has officially decided to grant the IYAK petition of September 3, 2014 to add yak to the list of exotic species eligible for voluntary inspection in the United States. This is a big win for IYAK and the yak industry in the US, allowing us to continue to supply the public with a healthy product that is professionally inspected by USDA. Thanks are due, first of all to IYAK members for being engaged and contacting their elected representatives to make this happen. And to USDA FSIS for working with IYAK…

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HealthJandy Sprouseusda, meat
Yak Butter


Yak butter are obtained from milk through traditional churning technique often at upland pasture  The milk are poured into inflated goat skin bag or put into big round pot run by water power and are stirred for an hour to 2 hours The butter or cream are separated from the water milk and the butter are then wrapped it for sale in the Market or consumed it at home  Unfortunately, Local people and farmers of Baltistan has given up this tradition and now Yak butter are rarely available in the Market.

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Yak Cheese Is a Miracle

The secret to Tibetan health in Himalayans

Now, we have found the secret of the strong health of the Tibetan and Himalayan populations. It is in that woolly beast called yak. More precisely in its cheese.

Cheese lovers have got a new target item, as a team of researchers from Nepal (a Himalayan state) and Canada has found that yak cheese has higher amounts of heart-healthy fats than cheese from dairy cattle, being much healthier. The base diet of people from Tibet and Himalaya is butter tea, made of tea leaves, yak butter and salt, combined with tsampa (local barley or wheat bread). The new research has been published in ACS' "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."

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HealthStefan AniteiDairy, Cheese
IYAK SCIENTIFIC FIRST: Ground Breaking Genome Sequence Research

“The Only Test of It’s Kind Anywhere in the World” IYAK Did It In 2018! Next Stop the whole tamale

I am excited to report that the International Yak Association is singlehandedly responsible for the development of exciting and groundbreaking technology and DNA testing for North American Yak (NAY). It is a scientific first of great importance to breeders, consumers, and academic researchers of NAY. Let me tell you a little about our preliminary results. 

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What Color are Yak?


There are three colors of yak: black, black and gold

Black Imperials: Frequently coal black at birth, Imperials are black with a shiny black nose. As they develop, depending on how wooly the animal is, they often take on a reddish cast from sun exposure. The silkier the coat the less likely it will be changed by exposure to sunlight. The reddish cast may be due to modifying or casting genes that act in the presence of the primary black gene and interaction with sunlight to create the reddish cast. This can also be seen in Black Angus cattle, Friesian horses and many other livestock breeds.

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Yak: Meet The Other Red Meat

It’s Healthy, Eco-friendly, and delicious!

Yak meat is lean yet juicy. Steak cuts are best prepared and served rare to medium rare. A little salt and pepper is all that is needed. The juiciness and the fresh, clean flavor don’t require masking with strong spices or marinades. Some cuts are exquisite when braised-- the connective tissue breaks down, and the meat falls apart. The juices produce the most incredibly rich and flavorful broth!  

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Shoo Fly Shoe ... Feeding Yaks Garlic for Fly Control?

Originally Posted By Lynda Gehring

I wanted to share with you another option for fly control in yaks. Last summer we tried something different...garlic. For the past 12 years we have fed our horses and dogs garlic to help fend off flies, fleas, ticks, gnats, mosquitoes and parasites. I have found it to be very successful for these animals and always wanted to try it with the yaks but I was afraid. I talked with several different cattle veterinarians at Colorado State University who assured me that if the yaks will eat the garlic, it won’t hurt them.

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Facts On Yak

Wholesome Milk, Great cheese, tasty meat, and Stunning Fiber

The first yaks were brought to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Today, Colorado boasts the highest population of yaks in the nation, with 78 breeders at last count, according to the International Yak Association (IYAK). The environment is ideal since yaks thrive in cool, high-altitude climates; their thick hides offer protection from the extreme cold of the Himalaya and they’re adept at foraging for food beneath the snow. They also require about one third to one half less feed than beef cattle. To learn more, visit

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Himalayan Yak Milk & Butter: How To

#1 Lesson in Understanding Tibetan Culture: Making traditional yak butter tea.

Yak Milk, contrary to the Trivial Pursuit game, is not pink but yak butter's legendary status is well deserved. Yak butter tea is the comfort food of the Himalayas with native herders drinking as many as 40 cups a day.  Yak milk is rich in butterfat at around 6% to 11% making it perfect for yogurt, butter, and cheese. Yaks evolved under harsh mountain conditions and are well adapted for winter. Their bags and teats are small, compact and close to the body so they don't freeze. In Tibet yaks are primarily considered dairy animals. Yak butter tea made from fresh butter is quite good, although very rich.

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They Ate What? Hardware Disease

Funny maybe, but No Laughing Matter

Vets see a wide variety of odd things that pets and livestock ingest: shoes, coins, socks, teddy bears, watches, rubber ducks, rocks, lightbulbs, kitchen utensils, pendants, golf balls, and more. “They Ate What?” has become a very popular contest by Veterinary Practice News and as they say: “and after all, who doesn’t love looking at crazy x-rays?”

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HealthNicole Porter-Salvato
Lessons Learned from the Cold Springs Fire

A police escort for a Bull named “Popeau”, and the calf named “Fire”

Like any Saturday morning during calving season, I was tending to my herd of Tibetan Yaks to see if I had any new calves on the ground. We had a healthy large female born 6 weeks prior, very near the expected birthdate, and I was baffled that the other two cows still had not delivered nearly two cycles later. After a few hours outside, I walked back up to the house for lunch and noticed that the clouds behind the mountain where our house sits, looked as if the sun were setting. I went inside and asked my wife to come see the horizon. We walked out on the deck and that is when I realized it was a column of smoke!

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HealthPhillip Reschke
Ruminant Health, Vitamin, Minerals & Nutrition

Originally Presented by Marty Ulrich, 2015

Ruminants require a number of minerals for optimal growth and reproduction. Selecting the correct mineral supplement is important for maintaining healthy animals, and optimal growth and reproduction. Minerals not provided by feed can easily and inexpensively supplied with a simple mineral supplement. The rumen is the largest compartment on the mature ruminant. The abomasum is the largest on the immature ruminant,

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Introducing Yak, the Other Red Meat

Heart Healthy Red Meat? Cool.

You may have heard yak talk before. In the low-cholesterol rage of the ’80s and ’90s, yaks dotted exotic game ranches west of the Mississippi and appeared alongside bison on “heart-healthy” burger menus. The yak’s big breakout moment happened at Denver’s National Western Stock Show in the late ’90s, when its reputation as an easy, more docile alternative to bison spread like prairie brush fire... Now, business is booming again.

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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.


There are several different treats than can be offered: Horse cookies, Nutrena Senior grain, or cattle cakes. Even pumpkins, cucumbers and apples if you cut them up. Your yak will often choose their favorite.

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Yaks are Back. Yaks are Black.

Originally Posted by the Wildlife Conservation Society, January, 2013, as “Yaks are back: Conservationists find nearly 1,000 wild yaks in remote Tibetan Plateau” in PsyOrg.

Wild yaks cross the Tibetan Plateau near the edge of a glacier. A scientific team recently counted more than a thousand wild yaks in this region signaling a possible comeback for this species once decimated by over-hunting. Credit: Joel Berger -- WCS/University of Montana

A team of American and Chinese conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Montana recently counted nearly 1,000 wild yaks from a remote area of the Tibetan-Qinghai Plateau. The finding may indicate a comeback for this species, which was decimated by overhunting in the mid 20th century.

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HealthJoe Walston