IYAK NEWSLETTER: December 3, 2018

NWSS Winter Conference Volunteers Welcomed!

There are many ways to help out at NWSS.  If you have a few minutes or can dedicate a few hours, IYAK has opportunities for you to volunteer.  From helping with the always entertaining Halter Show, assisting the Judges or just spending time in the IYAK Tent meeting and greeting IYAK members and folks who want to yak about yaks - opportunities abound!  Please contact our IYAK President Stephanie David if you want to help out.  Her e-mail is: president@iyak.org.   

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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
Yak Stops Global Warming?

If Climate Change is your concern, Yak is your answer

… UN Special Report confirms the urgent need to reduce methane emission… Whats interesting is that yak significantly reduce methane emissions compared with standard cattle breeds. New research in 2016, by one of my favorite researchers suggests yak could be a key solution in the battle against Global Warming (Zhigang Zhang… That yak are a healthy alternative to cattle is just one more reason to love yak. Get on board!

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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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IYAK E-Newletter March 2018

I’m Holly, the Communications Committee Chairperson.

Did something YAK-TACULAR happen in your area? Haveyouseenanarticlethatyoubelieve will be of interest to the Membership? Let's share that with the Membership. Just shoot me an e- mail at president@iyak.org. Or, if you know someone on the Committee that you like to share with, please contact that person directly. Thanks and looking forward to yaking with you!

Holly Modjeski

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Importance of Yak to Tibetan Culture

Their immemorial relationship

It would be hard to underestimate the importance of yak to traditional Tibetan culture. The yak (འབྲོང་། ) is considered the backbone of nomad life in the Himalayas, with this animal being important to the economic and personal wellbeing of the family. From the products crafted from yaks, the nomad family is able to clothe, shelter, and feed their family, so

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Nicole Porter-Salvato
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 IYak.org.

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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
A globally important wild yak Bos mutus population in the Arjinshan Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China


Wild Yak are IUCN Red Listed and Class 1 in China

The wild yak Bos mutus is one of the most charismatic members of the Tibet/Qinghai Plateau fauna, and 19th century explorers to the plateau described vast herds. Overhunting, in particular, has greatly reduced wild yak populations and forced them into remote areas. The species is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and as a Class 1 protected animal

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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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Wild Fiber: Tips and Tales

This year, Brad and Jandy Sprouse celebrate 33 years of raising and breeding livestock as their sole occupation and chosen lifestyle on Great Lakes Ranch in northwestern Michigan.

The ranch is the manifestation of their dream to raise livestock in a peaceful, rural setting. Their tale begins in 1981 when the Sprouse's purchased their first llama, and three years later they brought home their first alpaca. 

But that was just the beginning.

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FiberNicole Porter
Color Inheritance in North American Yaks

Three colors are recognized in North American yaks: Native Black, Imperial and Golden. Native Blacks are black hided animals with a grey or brown muzzle. Some individuals will show a grey or grizzly dorsal stripe. Native Blacks vary from a near dark black to brownish.

Frequently coal black at birth, Imperials are black with a shiny black nose. As they develop, this color often takes on a reddish cast from sun exposure, however most persist with a coal black color into adulthood. These latter Imperials tend to have a glossy coat. The reddish cast may be

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