How about Yaks?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Noticed a thread yesterday on the cattle forum about Yaks, so I did a short google search to learn a little bit about them. Seems like an interesting alternative livestock for the smallholding dweller or homesteader.
    Apparently have healthy lean meat, milk ideal for butter and cheese, and are supposed to be very tame and docile animals. Also, you can use their fiber. They are efficient for feed conversion and can live on marginal pastures. The drawback might be the limitations to keeping them better in a colder or high altitude climate. That should be of some news for the northland folks.!

    Does anyone on here have experience with yak raising?
  2. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    I looked into it and yes they are an excellent animal to raise. Add to your list they are good for pack animals (some are rented out to mountain climbing parties) and they also can be used as draft animals, as in oxen, for plowing and the like. You are correct on their limitations. They can not be raised in warm climates. If I settled in NY as I at one time thought I would be doing, I would be raising a few.


  3. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Every time I hear the word "yak", I think about Johnny Carson.
  4. Caitedid

    Caitedid The Prairie Plate Supporter

    Jun 1, 2004
    NE Iowa
    I actually worked at a place that had a few yaks last year. They are really nice animals, like little furry cows. The meat is fantastic, half way between range beef and venison, tasty and lean. Ours were halter broken, but not trained to pull, although I've heard they can be used just like oxen. I think bull yaks cause the same trouble that bulls cause, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, I think they're fab, and just think how cool it'd be to have a hand-woven yak fiber yurt!
  5. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Jul 12, 2003
    east ont canada
    once the "bloom" is off the industry ,the animals should be more reasonably priced( were quite expesive when we looked) . buffalo are now very cheap, not all that tame though! a freinnd of ours had them and watched every move you made! no not getting any of them! highlands are still a bit pricy but better than when they first came over. yaks sound well suited to a very rough climate though i dont think you would want to try picking and carding their fleece with sheep machinery!