Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Yaks???

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archer:
I just learned an old friend is raising yaks... Below is the info she sent me. Anyone thought about yaks?

Yaks are trainable, smart, and very affectionate. You can ride them like a horse, pack with them like llamas or mules,
and train them as oxen to pull. You can make cheese, yogurt, butter, and ice cream from their milk. I spin their wool
into yarn and knit and felt with it. Their dung makes exceptional fertilizer and dried it can be woodstove fuel. While
I’m not currently raising yak for meat, yak meat is delicious like beef except better – more delicate flavor, low
cholesterol high in omega-3 and the fat is all at the outer edge and easy to trim to taste. 
 
Yaks are easy keepers and don’t have the birthing issues that commercial cows/cattle have (which now-a-days
require human assistance in getting the calves out). Yaks are perfect for small acreages because their hooves don’t
rip up the land nearly as much, and yaks only eat 1% of their body weight per day as opposed to 4% or more for
other cattle. They can be fed just on pasture, no grains. Yaks are like a cow, horse, goat, and sheep all rolled up into
one animal. They can also defend themselves against the coyotes and the occasional mountain lion around here.
 

Sister Wolf:
Actually, I HAD thought about yaks, but didn't know anything about them other than the fact that they're completely adorable creatures.  Thanks so much for posting this, Archer! +1 for you.

I have a question though (figures, eh?).  Why would you want all the fat to be located around the edge?  I'm taking a butchering class right now, and one of the major points about beef that bob the butcher (my professor) is making right now is that the marbling IN the meat accounts for a lot of the delicious taste that we love so much in a great piece of meat.

archer:
I don't know SW, that is something to look into. But if the fat is on the outside, it's easier to trim off and use for other purposes (other foods, etc).

Bighorn:
From what I have been able to find on the net, yaks look expensive. I have found a couple for $2000 each. That would make an expensive herd. Especially when goats are 60-100 each

archer:
Hmm, I'll ask my friend what she paid. They are not cheap at all.

Here's her email:

At Spring Brook Ranch where I bought my yaks the prices are $1250 /heifer; $800/steer; $1000/bull these are for calves. They are fullblood and purebreed yaks. Poorly bred yaks look too much like cows or they have long horsey looking faces. See www.springbrookranch.com.

You will pay only $200-$700 for a meat yak with no pedigree. Some people are really full of themselves or actually breed superior or special color animals and calves can go for $3000-$7000 dollars. There are yak/cow hybrids some of which are cheap, others because of hybrid vigor go for big prices.

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