Yak information needed

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by ak homesteader, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. ak homesteader

    ak homesteader Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Does anyone have experience with yaks, or suggestions for resources on raising yaks, especially on their adaptability and food requirements? Can they eat some browse? How well do they handle deep snow? I've heard that they're pretty tough and very adaptable. We're thinking about getting a few, but haven't been able to find enough information.
  2. spring77

    spring77 Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2004

    This is what I know about Yaks. I know a guy who kept a pair of steered yaks for a while to train them to be a team of yak oxen.

    1. They are built for the cold. They overheated super easily if you asked them to do much in (moderately warm!) maine summer weather. Since you are in alaska this is no big deal I guess.

    2. They are small and quiet.

    3. They defecate a very runny manure in a weird projectile fashion so don't stand behind them. It looks like diarhea but that is just par for the course with yaks.

    4. Their urine has an extremely unusual smell. :confused: I'm just telling you what I was told.

    5. They can be milked and the milk is very rich.

    6. They are good pack animals. Strong herding instinct so you should have at least a pair.

    On the surface it seems like Yaks would be a good fit for Alaska, the only issues would be feeding them through a winter. How would you come by enough hay? I don't know your situation though. Also, if you wanted to raise them you would have to get a male yak. I don't know what kind of behavior issues that would be, are they as dangerous as a bull? Don't know. It seems unlikely that you could AI a yak or would have that ability in Alaska even if the technology has been developed for yaks. Sounds interesting.
    good luck

  3. frenchie

    frenchie Member

    Oct 23, 2004

    I don,t have Yak, but had a friend that did.He claimed that he could raise 4 on the same feed a regular cow could.

    They can have an cranky attitude. But that being said so can some cows.

    Should be well adapted to your climate.
  4. BarbG

    BarbG Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    HI I just wanted to bump this to see if there is any more info on Yaks out there!! Does anyone know if you can breed a reg. bull to a yak cow?? I've read that you can breed a yak bull to a reg.cow and get nice crosses but can't find anything on breeding reg. bulls to yaks. Thanks Barb
  5. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    Don't know where in state you are, but there are 2 herds close by-one near Fairbanks & one near Delta Jct. Neither herd tolerates dogs well w/small calves-severe damage to dog. Yaks will cross w/cattle, can be AI'd. Cross heifers are fertile, cross bulls are not. As for elimination habits, I haven't seen anything unusual. They are not supposed to browse a lot, not like Highlands. Try contacting Dick Karr at Delta Jct. through AK Farm Bureau. Good Luck .