thinking of getting 2 buffalo,anyone raised

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by little mom, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. little mom

    little mom Active Member

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    got 50 acers, some real good wooven wire fence ect...
    just checked on some small buffalo around a buck a pound
    is that a good price weened ones $400,
    are they hard to raise
    we know they are real good to eat killed a few with a bow :waa:
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    My neighbor had 8 and they were difficult to contain. They could and would exit the pasture thru the fence anywhere if a stranger came around. The animals are too difficult to handle and they are dangerous IMO. You could not give me a live one if I had to keep it!
     
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  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    Buffalo(s) are not pets in my opinion. The Bulls, when full grown weigh in excess of 2,000 pounds. They can run thru most fences like a bulldozer and not look back. You would never enter a pen to pet the pretty animals. They are unpredictable and will Kill if they feel threatened. There maybe people who think that they are Cute but I'm not in that group. Most ranchers that I know will tell you that even dehorned bulls from very domesticated breeds are NOT a Plaything. They have one purpose in life and they can't Bark so if they can't fulfill their geneatic imperative they will be turned into hamburger......fordy :) :eek:
     
  4. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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    I wouldn't recommend to anyone to have buffalo unless they have many many acres of land. They can and will jump a six foot fence, not meant to be a feed lot animal. Get a cow.
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I was just talking with a guy the other day who has raised buffalos for years. He said that the market has disappeared. It sounds like your buck a pound is someone looking to make a good deal for themselves.

    This man told me that good breeding cows are now selling for only a couple hundred bucks. He's selling out, as there is no money in it anymore.

    For a buck a pound, you can get a good steer.

    Jena
     
  6. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I've worked with buffalo and they are becoming more quiet over the years but there are a lot of problems associated with them. Fencing is major, they are fed different, they need special considerations and many vets have little to no experience with them at all so it's a live or die deal. They do not medicate the same way cattle do, certain meds that work quickly and efficiently in cattle take so long to take hold that the animal is long dead. Handling facilities for buffalo are very expensive and normal facilities for cattle will not work, many before you have tried and failed. I would ask how much cattle handling background you have. If you have little to none, buffalo are definately not a wise idea. You need to have experience with some pretty agressive cattle before you can honestly and safely take on buffalo. The first time I worked buffalo, I was quite curious as to why we would be out checking them on high powered race horses till we cleared the gate. I found out that an peevish bull can cover ground quicker than a high stakes winner. I've worked with cattle most of my life and I work them with confidence and I can't honestly say there's been too many times I've been afraid and in all the time I worked with buffalo, I found them to be very scary. They're hard to read and their behavior is not all the predictable. I would recomend that you start with cattle, learn all you can and if you think you'd like to try buffalo later on, start small and slow but I've watched a lot of the exotics come and go. I would also stay away from those animals that are 'bottle fed' or 'hand raised'. In buffalo, it doesn't necessarily make them quieter, it just means they have less respect for humans.
     
  7. bulldinkie

    bulldinkie Well-Known Member

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    I too heard they will bust through fences,I aso was always told never turn your back.Theyll run you down.why not texas longhorn cattle we raise those yes the horns are scary Theyre more afraid of you.Just be aware the horns are there.but easy to care for theyre docile compared to dairy.If you breed say a white bull to red cow you could get a black calf.You have no idea what it will look like.Beautiful animals.we have 40 acres we keep just enough kind of a hobby I guess dont want to be in it big time. We really enjoy them.
     
  8. little mom

    little mom Active Member

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    we raised cows for around 30 years mostly hobbie now [meat]
    we like to eat buffalo meat, after reading this will just go hunt
    one :p
     
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  9. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Where can you hunt Bison? As far as raising them on 50 acres...I can't imagine that 50 acres would be enough land for even 1 weaned calf. Bison are wild animals & they truely like to roam. Many attempts have been made to raise them commercially,in a fenced enviorment,& almost all have failed because bison have absolutely no respect for fences. Any fence that will actually keep them in is VERY expensive.Any commercialy successful operation that I've heard of involves thousands of acres of open range land. Add this to the fact that they can't be herded,but can only be stampeded,& you can readily see why the meat is so expensive.These behavioral characteristics of bison were most certainly known by the early settlers of the plains,& were among the many reasons that they were hunted to near-extinction to make room for domestic cattle. P.S. I really am interested in where you can hunt bison. :)
     
  10. sionosis

    sionosis Member

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    most of what has been said is true to a point they are not the same as working cattle, they don't medicate the same way, they are not cute pets, they need more room, they will fight if threatened, but there are several misconceptions they can be herded some but it is a different then domestic cattle....they are much more disease resistant then domestic cattle.......the reason for eradication of the species was predicted on control of the plains native population who were dependant on them.......they can be raised with proper pasturage without additional graining.....the meat is much leaner then beef ,pork,lamb,turkey................they are hormone free meat for your family....they are nonantibiotic laden meat for your family........info on them and raising of them is available through the buffalo trust in okla................
    Bob Littlehawk
     
  11. Jane in southwest WI

    Jane in southwest WI Well-Known Member

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    At the store in Viroqua, WI where I shop they sell Buffalo burger patties for $4.00 a pound, and they sell out quickly. I realize that is a little pricey but I am fussy about what I eat, and the buffalo burgers are the best I've ever had. We also buy grass fed beef from our neighbor, but I like the buffalo burgers the best. I don't understand why as was posted earlier that there's no money in it since it seems to sell well here.
     
  12. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My neighbors raise buffalo - I have 17 on my fence line and in my yard all the time! Don't do it. There is no market anymore and they are neat to look at but eat huge amounts, and not only do they go through fences they jump them like champion jumpers 6-8 foot from a standing jump is nothing to them. The insurance liability is horrendous if you can get it.
     
  13. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Jane, it sells very well but if you do the math, nobody is making much money. That buffalo was sold at auction somewhere for a certain amount of money as a weanling and he would have spent time with that buyer for finishing before he was sold again, possibly to a facility that kills, buchers and puts it on the shelves. If a guy is buying to sell for meat, it's best to cut out the two or three middle men. Right now, feeder steers are selling for approx $1/lb (in Alberta) and yet the price of a steak or roast at the retail outlet is over $9 kg. As a cattle producer, I can quite honestly tell you that it's not be getting rich because input costs are fairly high because of drought conditions over the last couple years. Because of the BSE incident we had, it's severely affected off shoot industries. A lot of producers (deer, elk and buffalo as a couple examples) bought their stock when prices were awful high. Two years ago, it would take $5000 to buy a decen cow buffalo and $10,000+ bought a bull. Now the offspring of those same animals are selling for $200. They are seriously taking a loss. A decent handling facility for buffalo would cost about $10,000 (crowding tub, sorting alley and chute) if purchased retail. It's not as much the fact that somebody was capitalizing on a trendy product but the fact that they have to all be reenforced steel. There isn't the meat that you think there is on an animal either. Next time you see one, notice that they're light in the hip, heavy in hump and the hair makes them appear larger than they really are. They are affected by less disease but they young are not immortal and they are affected by pneumonia, scours and other common things and they don't accept medication well, something we also see in longhorns.
     
  14. little mom

    little mom Active Member

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    if you want hunt then type in buffalo hunt
    i killed one in the middle of a herd once with a bow ,man
    when the rest of them smell the blood they got real
    upset with me
    but the guy i was going to get the little ones off, he has
    over 100 of them,he has his own resturant called
    http://www.woodennickelbuffalo.com/ looks like hes doing real good
     
  15. spotter4

    spotter4 Member

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    My brother in-law bought about 20 over a year ago. They are temperamental on feed, water, and attitude. Heck one died of a heart attack due to stress of being in the corral for worming and shots, did not even make the chute.

    He has lost 6 cows mainly due to parasites, in the last few months. Fencing cost him a fortune, as the fences need to be at least 6 to 7 feet tall, and numerous strands of barbed wire.

    His corral, tub area and chute is 2 3/8 pipe 7 ft tall, tub is same with plate steel for inside of tub, all made from recycled metal from other projects. The man hours alone in this project is crazy, if you need to buy new metal it goes way up on cost.

    In the chutes they go crazy, flipping over backwards, and if the top of he chutes did not have pipe, they would probably get out.

    The cows rip their sides open scratching with there horns.

    His Bull was not fertile last year, so he lost a whole calf crop this year. Takes longer than normal for them to get fertile.

    I would say heck NO to BISON
     
  16. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a bison farm here close. They hauled them in from Colorado, took 4 years for them to acclimate. The first 2 they had to feed all alfalfa, lost a lot of them. You do not want then close to a road, 2-3 fences back or they will be on the road all the time. They are harder on fences then the elk at the elk farm. Never walk in the pasture, always in a pickup or tractor. They have settled in after 25 years, need very little hay but the owner says you need 20 cows to keep a bull content, bison need a sizable herd to settle down. I have hauled them in enclosed trailers and bull racks, never want to haul them in an open top truck, even with 8' sides. Never had 1 go over but continually trying. They never settle in when being hauled, like cattle do. Always fighting being enclosed....James
     
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  17. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    They had some get loose around here and they could not catch them sheriff order them shot.
     
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  18. cfuhrer

    cfuhrer Wood Nymph / Toxophilite

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    Someone in Hermiston has some and every time I see them they are lazy layabouts. A herd of about 10 in little more than a few acre dry lot, behind a guardrail type fence. I've always wondered how they keep them so content. Maybe next time we are out that way I'll knock on the door and ask.
     
  19. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There was a small ranch S of me when I lived near Bristow that had them. They used metal pipe for posts and ran cable through them for fence with big springs at each end. Last few times I went by there I didn't see any.
     
  20. ldc

    ldc Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A guy in Jersey crossed them with cattle, and calls them "beefalo". Gets a lot per pound, and said they were calmer, grew on grass alone, a little smaller than bison...