raising buffalo/bison

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by chicky momma, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. chicky momma

    chicky momma Well-Known Member

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    Anyone raise buffalo or bison? Thinking of doing it and need to research it. Had buffalo steaks earlier in the week, yummy! Have been told there are no special licenses or permits. Just like raising cows but harder to handle. We have plenty of room. Lisa
     
  2. SectorSteve

    SectorSteve Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you do your research. Building a fence to confine a bison will be one of your major expenses. A bison WILL walk through a standard 3 or 4 strand barbwire fence like it's not even there. Another major concern will be to keep curious folks away from them. Also, they are NOT "just like raising cows but harder to handle". Bison can be unpredictable and even deadly. It's not the family milk cow.
    Good luck,
    Steve
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some folks down this way have A few there fences are built out of Oilfeild pi.pe
     
  4. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    Listen to Steve!!! They are not just harder to handle. They would just as soon kill you. A fellow rancher and friend raises them. You need special fencing, feeders and your corrals had better be steel. If they want out (especially the bulls) they will walk through the fences - any fence. He is either getting out or cutting way back. Plus not all butchering facilities will take them. They are too hard to handle. They look placid but they can move real fast.

    Yes, they taste good - I have 1/2 of one in my freezer. But raise one - uh uh not me. :nono:
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    We thought about this once and talked to a buffalo rancher. He said that you cannot raise just one bison. Bison are herd animals. If you try to raise just one it will want to roam and find the herd. It will either break down the fence or just do poorly.

    He also told us that your fence doesn't really have to be all that strong IF you keep the animals well fed. Well fed bisons are not inclined to roam.

    He recommended that the minimum number of bison a person should raise is three at a time.
     
  6. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not a good animal for a homesteader. My neighbors in SD "tried" to raise buffs. Biggest problem is affording the solid steel chutes heavy enough to hold the animal so you can tag and vaccinate cause otherwise the butcher will NOT accept the animal for butchering AND you have to have a really heavy duty trailor to move them and hope like h#ll you can even get them in the trailor and when you do they go absolutely crazy amd wreck it anyway if not turn it over! Much cheaper to buy the meat you want and safer also.
     
  7. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    A neighbor had some a few years ago. They got out one day, and it took most of us in the area most of an afternoon to get them back in. He sold them the next day. I'll just stick to regular cattle.
     
  8. Dave S.

    Dave S. Well-Known Member

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    A bison is little more than a SCUD missile waiting for the opportune moment to launch, wreaking havoc and destroying anything in their way. They will walk through your fence, through the side of your trailer, or anything else that might amuse them. A new born buff will get you against the wall and grind its head against you, just picture that when it ways 1500 lbs. I would think the liability and the chance of being gored is enough reason to stay away from them. The cost of trying to fence and house them would offset the value of the meat, IMO. Trying to find a Vet that will deal with them is another challenge. I do not know of anyone who has kept them for long. There used to be several people who had them around for novelties sake, but they soon gave it up. Perhaps as a commercial operation it can be practical, but for a small timer? Only you can decide. BTW, I like buff jerky, very tasty, I would love to try a buff steak.
     
  9. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I was Fishing out West,had a bunch around me.Made me real nervous,just kept my eye on them.

    big rockpile
     
  10. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I researched them- decided against it. SCARY!
     
  11. Lizza

    Lizza Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know anything about them but I do enjoy seeing them when I drive by some neighbors farms. Everyone that has them around here just has them out with the cattle. I don't know that I want one but they are fun to watch and I do enjoy a buffalo burger!
     
  12. chicky momma

    chicky momma Well-Known Member

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    OK! Jeez I had no idea "tame" ones would be that bad. No don't think thats something we need around here. Hubby gets himself into enough "adventures" as it is. Thanks for the info everybody. We have a buff farm not far from us and were thinking of buying one for the freezer w/a friend. Think this is the easier, softer way. Also saw a poster at the feed store with a baby bull buff that said "cute and cuddly". Thought to myself not for long! Now I know. Lisa
     
  13. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    dont buy into the hype. I know several people who own buffs. I once had two for a couple years. My next door neighbor has about 30 and a couple folks down the road have anywhere from 1-5. All inside a fence. A plain old four or five strand barbed wire fence. When loaded they dont freak out any more than any other cattle I have seen. Besides if something weighs 2,000 pounds it can walk through a fence or be dangerous whether it is a charolais or a buff. We regularly go fishing on my neghbors property and have never had an issue with his buffs. But the last three charolais mix bulls will put you out of the pasture in a hurry.
     
  14. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    If your interested in something unique, with a fuller flavor to the meat and multiple uses but without some of the issues that a bison might bring you might look at yaks. They have a very lean full flavored meat with the added benefit of the "wool", milk and even as a draft animal. You really need to be in the right part of the country to raise yaks and they aren't automatically gentle, they have to be acclimated and trained like any animal but they do offer a number of interesting opportunities for the small holder.

    J
     
  15. wendys_goats

    wendys_goats wendys_goats

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    Some friends of mine used to raise beefalo which is a cross between a couple different beef cattle and buffalo. You could check into that.